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HISTORY 



OF 



JULIUS C^SAR. 



By JACOB ABBOTT. 



THE BOOK SUPPLY COMPANY, 

PUBLISHERS, 

CHICAGO, ILL. 



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CD 



.. -- :? f i / 






CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. PAOB 

Marius and Sylla 1 

CHAPTER II. 
Cessar's Early Years 21 

CHAPTER III. 
Advancement to the Consulship 40 

CHAPTER IV. 
The Conquest of Gaul 63 

CHAPTER V. 
Pompey.. , 83 

CHAPTER VI. 
Crossing the Rubicon 103 

CHAPTER VII. 
The Battle of Pharsalia 123 

CHAPTER VIII. 
Flight and Death of Pompey. , 138 

CHAPTER IX. 
CsBsar in Egypt 156 

CHAPTER X. 
Caesar Imperator 173 

CHAPTER XI. 
The Conspiracy 191 

CHAPTER XIL 
The Assassination 209 



JULIUS CAESAR. 



CHAPTEK I. 

MARroS AND SYIXA. 

There were three great European nations in 
ancient days, each of which furnished history 
with a hero : the Greeks, the Carthaginians, 
and the Eomans. 

Alexander was the hero of the Greeks. He 
was King of Macedon, a country lying north 
of Greece proper. He headed an army of his 
countrymen, and made an excursion for con- 
quest and glory into Asia. He made himself 
master of all that quarter of the globe, and 
reigned over it in Babylon, till he brought 
himself to an early grave by the excesses into 
which his boundless prosperity allured him. 
His fame rests on his triumphant success in 
building up for himself so vast an empire, and 
the admiration which his career has always 
excited among mankind is heightened by the 
consideration of his youth, and of the noble 
and generous impulses which strongly ^marked 
his character. 



2 JULIUS CESAR. 

The Carthaginian hero was Hannibal. We 
class the Carthaginians among the European 
nations of antiquity ; for, in respect to their 
origin, their civilization, and all their com- 
mercial and political relations, they belonged 
to the European race, though it is true that 
their capital was on the African side of the 
Mediterranean Sea. Hannibal was the great 
Carthaginian hero. He earned his fame by 
the energy and implacableness of his hate. 
The work of his life was to keep a vast empire 
in a state of continual anxiety and terror for 
fifty years, so that his claim to greatness and 
glory rests on the determination, the persever- 
ance, and the success with which he fulfilled 
his function of being, while he lived, the ter- 
ror of the world. 

^he Eoman hero was Caesar. He was born 
just one hundred years before the Christian 
era. y His renown does not depend, like that 
of Alexander, on foreign conquests, nor, like 
that cf Hannibal, on the terrible energy of his 
aggressions upon foreign foes, but upon his 
protracted and dreadful contests with, and 
ultimate triumphs over, his rivals and com- 
petitors at home. When he appeared upon 
the stage, the Eoman empire already included 
nearly all of the world that v/as worth possess- 
ing. There were no more conquests to be 



MARIUS AND SYLLA. 3 

made. ^C^^ar did, indeed, enlarge, in some 
degree, the boundaries of the empire ; but the 
main question in his day was, who should pos- 
sess the power which preceding conquerors 
had acquired. 

The Koman empire, as it existed in those 
days, must not be conceived of by the reader 
as united together under one compact and con- 
solidated government. It was, on the other 
hand, a vast congeries of nations, widely dis- 
similar in every respect from each other, speak- 
ing various languages, and having various cus- 
toms and laws. They were all, however, more 
or less dependent upon, and connected with, the 
great central power. Some of thewe countries 
were provinces, and were governed by officers 
appointed and sent out by the authorities at 
Eome. These governors had to collect the 
taxes of their provinces, and also to preside 
over and direct, in many important respects, 
the administration of justice. They had, ac- 
cordingly, abundant opportunities to enrich 
themselves while thus in office, by collecting 
more money than they paid over to the govern- 
ment at home, and by taking bribes to favor 
the rich man's cause in court. Thus the more 
wealthy and prosperous provinces were objects 
of great competition among aspirants for office 
at Home. Leading men would get these ap- 
pointments, and, after remaining long enough 
in their provinces to acquire a fortune, would 



4 JULIUS CESAR. 

come back to Eome, and expend it in intrigues 
and maneuvers to obtain higher offices still. 

Whenever there was any foreign war to be 
carried on with a distant nation or tribe, there 
was always a great eagerness among all the 
military officers of the state to be appointed to 
the command. They each felt sure that they 
should conquer in the contest, and they could 
enrich themselves still more rapidly by the 
spoils of victory in war than by extortion and 
bribes in the government of a province in 
peace. Then, besides, a victorious general 
coming back to Eome always found that his 
military renown added vastly to his influence 
and power in the city. He was welcomed with 
celebrations and triumphs; the people flocked 
to see him and to shout his praise. He placed 
his trophies of victory in the temples, and en- 
tertained the populace with games and shows, 
and with combats of gladiators or of wild 
beasts, which he had brought home with him 
for this purpose in the train of his army.. 
While he was thus enjoying his triumph, his 
political enemies would be thrown into the 
background and into the shade; unless, in- 
deed, some one of them might himself be earn- 
ing the same honors in some other field, to 
come back in due time, and claim his share of 
power and celebrity in his turn. In this case, 
Rome would be sometimes distracted and rent 
by the conflicts and contentions of military 



MARIUS AND SYLLA. 5 

rivals, who had acquired powers too vast for 
all the civil influences of the republic to regu- 
late or control. 

There had been two such rivals just before 




Roman Plebeians. 

the time of Caesar, who had filled the world 
with their quarrels. They were Marius and 
Sylla. Their very names have been, in all ages 
of the world, since their day, the symbols of 



6 JULIUS C^SAR. 

rivalry and hate. They were the representa- 
tives respectively of the. two great parties into 
which the Eoman state, like every other com- 
munity in which the population at large have 
any voice in governing, always has been, and 
probably always will be divided, the upper 
and the lower ; or, as they were called in those 
days, the patrician and the plebeian. Sylla 
was the patrician; the liigher and more aristo- 
cratic portions of the community were on his 
side. Marius was the favorite of the plebeian 
masses. In the contests, however, which they 
waged with each other, they did not trust to 
the mere influence of votes. They relied much 
more upon the soldiers they could gather 
under their respective standards, and upon 
their power of intimidating, by means of them, 
the Roman assemblies. There was a war to 
be waged with Mithridates, a very powerful 
Asiatic monarch, which promised great oppor- 
tunies for acquiring fame and plunder. Sylla 
was appointed to the command. While he 
was absent, however, upon some campaign in 
Italy, Marius contrived to have the decision 
reversed, and the command transferred to him. 
Two officers, called tribunes, were sent to 
Sylla's camp to inform him of the change. 
Sylla killed the officers for daring to bring him 
such a message, £i,nd began immediately to 
march toward Rome. In retaliation for the 
murder of the tribunes, the party of Marius in 



MARIUS AND SYLLA. 7 

the city killed some of Sylla's prominent 
friends there, and a general alarm spread itself 
throughout the population. The Senate, which 
was a sort of House of Lords, embodying 
mainly the power and influence of the patri- 
cian party, and was, of course, on Sylla's side, 
sent out to him, when he had arrived within a 
few miles of the city, urging him to come no 
farther. He pretended to comply ; he marked 
out the ground for a camp ; but he did not, on 
that account, materially delay his march. The 
next morning he was in possession of the city. 
The friends of Mari ^ attempted to resist him, 
by throwing stones upon his troops from the 
roofs of the houses. Sylla ordered every 
house from which these symptoms of resistance 
appeared to be set on fire.^ Thus the whole 
population of a vast and wealthy city were 
thrown into a condition of extreme danger and 
terror, by the conflicts of two great bands of 
armed men, each claiming to be their friends. 

Marius was conquered in this struggle, and 
fled for his life. Many of the friends whom 
he left behind him were killed. The Senate 
were assembled, and, at Sylla's orders, a de- 
cree was passed declaring Marius a public 
enemy, and oifering a reward to any one who 
would bring his head back to Eome. 

Marius fled, friendless and alone, to the 
southward, hunted everywhere by men who 
were eager to get the reward offered for his 



8 JULIUS C^SAR. 

head. After various romantic adventures and 
narrow escapes, he succeeded in making his 
way across the Mediterranean Sea, and found 
at last a refuge in a hut among the ruins of 
Carthage. He was an old man, being now 
over seventy years of age. 

Of course, Sylla thought that his great rival 
and enemy was now finally disposed of, and he 
accordingly began to make preparations for his 
Asiatic campaign. He raised his army, built 
and equipped a fleet, and went away. As soon 
as he was gone, Marius' friends in the city 
began to come forth, and to take measures for 
reinstating themselves in power. Marius re- 
turned, too, from Africa, and soon gathered 
about him a large army. Being the friend, as 
he pretended, of the lower classes of society, 
he collected vast multitudes of revolted slaves, 
outlaws, and other desperadoes, and advanced 
toward Rome. He assumed, himself, the 
dress, and air, and savage demeanor of his fol- 
lowers. His countenance had been rendered 
haggard and cadaverous partly by the influence 
of exposures, hardships, and suffering upon 
his advanced age, and partly by the stern and 
moody plans and determinations of reveng^e 
which his mind was perpetually revolving. 
He listened to the deputations which the 
Eom<an Senate sent out to him from time to 
time, as he advanced toward the city, but re- 
fused to make any terms. He moved forward 



MARIUS AND SYLLA. 9 

with all the outward deliberation and calmness 
suitable to his years, while all the ferocity of 
a tiger was burning within. 

As soon as he had gained possession of the 
city, he began his work of destruction. He 
first beheaded one of the consuls, and ordered 
his head to be set up, as a public spectacle, in 
the most conspicuous place in the city. This 
was the beginning. All the prominent friends 
of Sylla, men of the highest rank and station, 
were then killed, wherever they could be 
found, without sentence, without trial, without 
any other accusation, even, than the military 
decision of Marius that they were his enemies, 
and must die. For those against whom he 
felt any special animosity, he contrived some 
special mode of execution. One, whose fate 
he wished particularly to signalize, was 
thrown down from the Tarpeian Eock. 

The Tarpeian Rock was a precipice about 
fifty feet high, which is still to be seen in 
Eome, from which the worst of state criminals 
were sometimes thrown. They were taken up 
to the t( by a stair, and were then hurled 
from the summit, to die miserably, writhing 
in agony after their fall, upon the rocks be- 
low. 

The Tarpeian Eock received its name from 
the ancient story of Tarpeia. The tale is, 
that Tarpeia was a Eoman girl, who lived at a 
time in the earliest periods of the Eoman his- 



10 JULIUS CESAR. 

tory, when ihe city was besieged by an army 
from one of the neighboring nations. Besides 
their shields, the story is that the soldiers had 
golden bracelets upon their arms. They 
wished Tarpeia to open the gates and let them 
in. She promised to do so if they would give 
her their bracelets ; but, as she did not know 
the name of the shining ornaments, the lan- 
guage she used to designate them was, ** Those 
things you have upon your arms.'* The sol- 
diers acceded to her terms ; she opened the 
gates, and they, instead of giving her the 
bracelets, threw their shields upon her as they 
passed, until the poor girl was crushed down 
with them and destroyed. This was near the 
Tarpeian Eock, which afterward took her 
name. The rock is now found to be perforated 
by a great many subterranean passages, the 
remains, probably, of ancient quarries. Some 
of these galleries are now walled up; others 
are open ; and the people who live around the 
spot believe, it is said, to this day, that Tar- 
peia herself sits, enchanted, far in the interior 
of these caverns, covered with gold and jewels, 
but that whoever attempts to fiud her is fated 
by an irresistible destiny to lose his way, and 
he never returns. The last story is probably 
as true as the other. 

Marius continued his executions and massa- 
cres until the whole of Sylla's party had been 
slain or put to flight. He made every effort 



MARIUS AND SYLLA. U 

to discover Sylla's wife and child, with a view 
to destroying them also, but they could not be 
found. Some friends of Sylla, taking compas- 
sion on their innocence and helplessness, con- 
cealed them, and thus saved Marius from the 
commission of one intended crime. Marius 
was disappointed, too, in some other cases, 
where men whom he had intended to kill de- 
stroyed themselves to baffle his vengeance. 
One shut himself up in a room with burning 
charcoal, and was suffocated with the fumes. 
Another bled himself to death upon a public 
altar, calling down the judgments of the god to 
whom he offered this dreadful sacrifice, upon 
the head of the tyrant whose atrocious cruelty 
he was thus attempting to evade. ; 

By the time that "Marius had got fairly es- 
tablished in his new position, and was com- 
pletely master of Eome, and the city had begun 
to rtcover a little from the shock and conster- 
nation produced by his executions, he fell 
sick. He was attacked with an acute disease 
of great violence. The attack was perhaps 
produced, and was certainly aggravated by, 
the great mental excitements through which 
he had passed during his exile, and in the 
entire change of fortune which had attended 
his return. From being a wretched fugitive, 
hiding for his life among gloomy and desolate 
ruins, he found himself suddenly transferred to 
the mastery of the world. His mind was ex- 



13 JULIUS CiESAR. 

cited, too, in respect to Sylla, whom he had 
not yet reached or subdued, but who was still 
prosecuting his war against Mithridates. 
Marius had had him pronounced by the Senate 
an enemy to his country, and was meditating 
plans to reach him in his distant province, 
considering his triumph incomplete as long as 
his great rival was at liberty and alive. The 
sickness cut short these i)lans, but it only in- 
flamed to double violence the excitement and the 
agitations which attended them. 

As the dying tyrant tossed restlessly upon 
his bed, it was plain that the delirious ravings 
which he began soon to utter were excited by 
the same sentiments of insatiable ambition and 
ferocious hate whose calmer dictates he had 
obeyed when well. He imagined that he had 
succeeded in supplanting Sylla in his command, 
and that he was himself in Asia at the head of 
his armies. Impressed with this idea, he 
stared wildly around ; he called aloud the name 
of Mithridates; he shouted orders to imaginary 
troops; he struggled to break away from the 
restraints which the attendants about his bed- 
side imposed, to attack the phantom foes 
which haunted him in his dreams. This con- 
tinued for several days, and when at last nature 
was exhausted by the violence of these parox- 
ysms of frenzy, the vital powers which had 
been for seventy long years spending their 
strength in deeds of selfishness, cruelty, and 



MARIUS AND SYLLA. 13 

hatred, found their work done, and sunk to 
revive no more. 

Marius left a son, of the same name with 
himself, who attempted to retain his father's 
power; but Sylla, having brought his war with 
Mithridates to a conclusion, was now on his 
return from Asia, and it was very evident that 
a terrible conflict was about to ensue. Sylla 
advanced triumphantly through the country, 
while Marius the younger and his partisans 
concentrated their forces about the city, and 
prepared for defense. The people of the city 
were divided, the aristocratic faction adhering 
to the cause of Sylla, while the democratic 
influences sided with Marius. Political 
parties rise and fall, in almost all ages of the 
world, in alternate fluctuations, like those of 
the tides. The faction of Marius had been for 
some time in the ascendency, and it was now 
its turn to fall. Sylla found, therefore, as he 
advanced, everything favorable to the restora- 
tion of his own party to power. He de- 
stroyed the armies which came out to op- 
pose him. He shut up the young Marius in 
a city not far from Rome, where he had en- 
deavored to find shelter and protection, and 
then advanced himself and took possession of 
the city. There he caused to be enacted again 
the horrid scenes of massacre and murder which 
Marius had perpetrated before, going, how- 
ever, as much beyond the example which he 



14 JULIUS C^SAR. 

followed as men usually do in the commission 
of crime. He gave out lists of the names of 
men whom he wished to have destroyed, and 
these unhappy victims of his revenge were to 
be hunted out by bands of reckless soldiers, in 
their dwellings, or in the places of public re- 
sort in the city, and dispatched by the sword 
wherever they could be fouud. The scenes 
which these deeds created in a vast and popu- 
lous city can scarcely be conceived of by those 
who have never witnessed the horrors pro- 
duced by the massacres of civil war. Sylla 
himself went through with this work in the 
most cool and unconcerned manner, as if he 
were performing the most ordinary duties of 
an officer of state. He called the Senate to- 
gether one day, and, while he was addressing 
them, the attention of the Assembly was sud- 
denly distracted by the noise of outcries and 
screams in the neighboring streets from those 
who were sufferiug military execution there. 
The senators started with horror at the sound. 
Sylla, with an air of great composure and un- 
concern, directed the members to listen to him, 
and to pay no attention to what was passing 
elsewhere. The sounds that they heard were, 
he said, only some correction which was be- 
stowed by his orders on certain disturbers of 
the public peace. 

Sy 11a' s orders for the execution of those who 
had taken an active part against him were not 



MARIUS AND SYLLA. 15 

confined to Kome. They went to the neigh- 
boring cities and to distant provinces, carry- 
ing terror and distress everywhere. Still, 
dreadful as these evils^were, it is possible for 
us, in the conceptions which we form, to over- 
rate the extent of them. In reading the his- 
tory of the Eoman empire during the civil wars 
of Marius and Sylla, one might easily imagine 
that the whole population of the country was 
organized into the two contending armies, and 
were employed wholly in the work of fighting 
with and massacring each other. But nothing 
like this can be true. It is obviously but a 
small part, after all, of an extended community 
that can be ever actively and personally en- 
gaged in these deeds of violence and blood. 
Man is not naturally a ferocious wild beast. 
On the contrary, he loves, ordinarily, to live 
in peace and quietness, to till his lands and 
tend his flocks, and »to enjoy the blessings of 
peace and repose. It is comparatively but a 
small number in any age of the world, and in 
any nation, whose passions of ambition, 
hatred, or revenge become so strong as that 
they love bloodshed and war. But these few, 
when they once get weapons into their hands, 
trample recklessly and mercilessly upon the 
rest. One ferocious human tiger, with a 
spear or a bayonet to brandish, will tyrannize 
as he pleases over a hundred quiet men, who 
are armed only with shepherds' crooks, and 



16 JULIUS C^SAR. 

whosewonly desire is to live in peace with their 
wives and their children. 

Thus, while Marius and Sjlla, with some 
hundred thousand armed and reckless follow- 
ers, were carrying terror and dismay wherever 
they went, there were many millions of herds- 
men and husbandmen in the Eoman world who 
were dwelling in all the peace and quietness 
they could command, improving with their 
peaceful industry every acre where corn would 
ripen or grass grow. It was by taxing and 
plundering the proceeds of this industry that 
the generals and soldiers, the consuls and 
praetors, and proconsuls and propraetors, 
filled their treasuries, and fed their troops, 
and paid the artisans for fabricating their 
arms. With these avails they built the 
magnificent edifices of Eome, and adorned its 
environs with sumptuous villas. As they had 
the power and the arms in their hands, the 
peaceful and the industrious had no alternative 
but to submit. They went on as well as they 
could with their labors, bearing patiently every 
interruption, returning again to till their fields 
after the desolating march of the army had 
passed away, and repairing the injuries of 
violence, and the losses sustained by plunder, 
without useless repining. They looked upon 
an armed government as a necessary and inevi- 
table affliction of humanity, and submitted to 
its destructive violence as they would submit 



MARIUS AND SYLLA. 17 

to an earthquake or a pestilence. The tillers 
of the soil manage better in this country at the 
present day. They have the power in their 
own hands, and they watch very narrowly to 
prevent the organization of such hordes of 
armed desperadoes as have held the peaceful 
inhabitants of Europe in terror from the ear- 
liest periods down to the present day. 

When Sylla returned to Rome, and took pos- 
session of the supreme power there, in looking 
over the lists of public men, there was one 
whom he did not know at first what to do with. 
It was the young Julius Caesar, the subject of 
this history. Caesar was, by birth, patrician, 
having descended from a long line of noble an- 
cestors. There had been, before his day, a 
great many Caesars who had held the highest 
offices of the state, and many of them had been 
celebrated in history. He naturally, there- 
fore, belonged to Sylla's side, as Sylla was the 
representative of the patrician interest. But 
then Caesar had personally been inclined to- 
ward the party of Marius. The elder Marius 
had married his aunt, and, besides, Caesar 
himself had married the daughter of Cinna, 
who had been the most efficient and powerful 
of Marius' coadjutors and friends. Caesar was 
at this time a very young man, and he was of 
an ardent and reckless character, though he 
had, thus far, taken no active part in public 
affairs. Sylla overlooked him for a time, but 



V - 

18 JULIUS C^SAR. 

at length was about to put his name on the list 
of the proscribed. Some of the nobles, who 
were friends both of Sylla and of Caesar too, 
interceded for the young man; Sylla yielded 
to their request, or, rather, suspended his de- 
cision, and sent orders to Caesar to repudiate 
his wife, the daughter of Cinna. Her name 
was Cornelia. Caesar absolutely refused to 
repudiate his wife. He was influenced in this 
decision partly by affection for Cornelia, and 
partly by a sort of stern and indomitable in- 
submissiveness, which formed, from his ear- 
liest years, a prominent trait in his character, 
and which led him, during all his life, to 
brave every possible danger rather than allow 
himself to be controlled. Caesar knew very 
well that, when this his refusal should be re- 
ported to Sylla, the next order would be for 
his destruction. He accordingly fled. Sylla 
deprived him of his titles and offices, confis- 
cated his wife's fortune and his own patrimo- 
nial estate, and put his name upon the list of 
the public enemies. Thus Caesar became a 
fugitive and an exile. The adventures which 
befell him in his wanderings will be described 
in the following chapter. 

Sylla was now in the possession of absolute 
power. He was master of Rome, and of all 
the countries over which Rome held sway. 
Still he was nominally not a magistrate, but 
only a general returning victoriously from his 



5 1^V 

*^AR1US AND SYLLA. 19 

Asiatic ca±iipaign, and putting to death, some- 
what irregularly, it is true, by a sort of mar- 
tial law, persons whom he found, as he said, 
disturbing the public peace. After having 
thus e£fectually disposed of the power of his 
enemies, he laid aside, ostensibly, the govern- 
ment of the sword, and submitted himself and 
his future measures to the control of law. He 
placed himself ostensibly at the disposition of 
the city. They chose him dictator, which was 
investing him with absolute and unlimited 
power. He remained on this, the highest 
pinnacle of worldly ambition, a short time, 
and then resigned his power, and devoted the 
remainder of his days to literary pursuits and 
pleasures. Monster as he was in the cruelties 
which he inflicted upon his political foes, he 
was intellectually of a refined and cultivated 
mind, and felt an ardent interest in the pro- 
motion of literature and the arts. 

The quarrel between Marius and Sylla, in 
tespect to everything which can make such a 
contest great, stands in the estimation of man- 
kind as the greatest personal quarrel which the 
history of the world has ever recorded. Its 
origin was in the simi)le personal rivalry of 
two ambitious men. It involved, in its con- 
sequences, the peace and happiness of the 
world. In their reckless struggles, the fierce 
combatants trampled on everything that came 
in their way, and destroyed mercilessly, each 



20 JULIUS C^SAR. 

in his turn, all that opposed them. Mankind 
have always execrated their crimes, but have 
never ceased to admire the frightful and almost 
superhuman energy "with which they committed 
them. 



CiESAR'S EARLY YEARS. 21 



CHAPTEK n. 

Cesar's early years. 

C^SAR does not seem to have been much dis- 
heartened and depressed by his misfortunes. 
He possessed in his early life more than the 
usual share of buoyancy and light-heartedness 
of youth, and he went away from Eome to en- 
ter, perhaps, upon years of exile and wander- 
ing, with a determination to face boldly and to 
brave the evils and dangers which surrounded 
him, and not to succumb to them. 

Sometimes they who become great in their 
maturer years are thoughtful, grave, and se- 
date when young. It was not so, however, 
with Caesar. He was of a very gay and lively 
disposition. He was tall and handsome in his 
person, fascinating in his manners, and fond 
of society, as people always are who know or 
who suppose that they shine in it. He had 
seemed, in a word, during his residence at 
Eome, wholly intent upon the pleasures of a 
gay and joyous life, and upon the personal ob- 
servation which his rank, his wealth, his agree- 
able manners, and his position in society se- 



22 JULIUS CESAR. 

cured for liim. In fact, they who observed 
and studied his character in these early years, 
thought that, although his situation was very 
favorable for acquiring power and renown, he 
would never feel any strong degree of ambition 
to avail himself of its advantages. He was 
too much interested, they thought, in personal 
pleasures ever to become great, either as a 
military commander or a statesman. 

Sylla, however, thought differently. He 
had penetration enough to perceive, beneath 
all the gayety and love of pleasure which char- 
acterized CsBsar's youthful life, the germs of a 
sterner and more aspiring spirit, which, he 
was very sorry to see, was likely to expend its 
future energies in hostility to him. By refus- 
ing to submit to Sylla's commands, Caesar had, 
in effect, thrown himself entirely upon the 
other party, and would be, of course, in future 
identified with them. Sylla consequently 
looked upon him now as a confirmed and 
settled enemy.. Some friends of Caesar among 
the patrician families interceded in his behalf 
with Sylla again, after he had fled from Rome. 
They wished Sylla to pardon him, saying that 
he was a mere boy and could do him no harm. 
Sylla shook his head, saying that, young as 
he was, he saw in him indications of a future 
power which he thought was more to be 
dreaded than that of many Mariuses. 

One reason which led Sylla to form this 



CiESAR'S EARLY YEARS. 23 

opinion of Caesar was, that the young noble- 
man, with all his love of gayety and pleasure, 
had not neglected his studies, but had taken 
great pains to perfect himself in such intellec- 
tual pursuits as ambitious men who looked for- 
ward to political influence and ascendency were 
accustomed to prosecute in those days. He. 
had studied the Greek language, and road the 
works of Greek historians; and he attended 
lectures on philosophy and rhetoric, and was 
obviously interestejd deeply in acquiring power 
as a public speaker. To write and speak well 
gave a pni}rio man great iniiueiice in those days. 
Many of the measures of the government were 
determined by the action of great assemblies 
of the free citizens, which action was itself, in 
a great measure, controlled by the harangues 
of orators who had such powers of voice and 
such qualities of mind as enabled them to gain 
the attention and sway the opinions of large 
bodies of men. 

It must not be supposed, however, that this 
popular power was shared by all the inhabi- 
tants of the city. At one time, when the pop- 
ulation of the city was about three millions, 
the number of free citizens was only three 
hundred thousand. The rest were laborers, 
artisans, and slaves, who had no voice in 
public affairs. The free citizens held very 
frequent public assemblies. There were vari- 
ous squares and opeo spaces in the city where 



24 JULIUS CiESAR. 

such assemblies were convened, and where courts 
of justice were held. The Koman name for such 
a square was forum. There was one which 
was distinguished above all the rest, and was 
called emphatically The Forum. It was a 
magnificent square, surrounded by splendid 
edifices, and ornamented by sculptures and 
statues without number. There were ranges 
of porticoes along the sides, where the people 
were sheltered from the weather when neces- 
sary, though it is seldom that there is any 
necessity for shelter under an Italian sky. In 
this area and under these porticoes the people 
held their assemblies, and here courts of jus- 
tice were accustomed to sit. The Forum was 
ornamented continually with new monuments, 
temples, statues, and columns by successful 
generals returning in triumph from foreign 
campaigns, and by proconsuls and prsetors 
coming back enriched from their provinces, 
until it was fairly choked up with its architec- 
tural magnificence, and it had at last to be 
partially cleared again, as one would thin out 
too dense a forest, in order to make room for 
the assemblies which it was its main function 
to contain. 

The people of Kome had, of course, no 
printed books, and yet they were mentally cul- 
tivated and refined, and were qualified for a 
very high appreciation of intellectual pursuits 
and pleasures. In the absence, therefore, of 



S'tlJlJl 



,, ,,Ji !,,,,, 




CiESAR'S EARLY YEARS. 25 

all facilities for private reading, the Forum 
became the great central point of attraction. 
The same kind of interest which, in our day, 
finds its gratification in reading volumes of 
printed history quietly at home, or in silently 
perusing the columns of newspapers and 
magazines in libraries and reading-rooms, 
where a whisper is seldom heard, in Caesar's 
day brought everybody to the Forum, to listen 
to historical harangues, or political discus- 
sions, or forensic arguments in the midst of 
nois}^ crowds. Here all tidings centered ; here 
all questions were discussed and all great elec- 
tions held. Here were waged those ceaseless 
conflicts of ambition and struggles of power on 
which the fate of nations, and sometimes the 
welfare of almost half mankind depended. Of 
course, every ambitious man who aspired to 
an ascendency over his fellow-men, v/ished to 
make his voic^ heard in the Forum. To calm 
the boisterous tumult there, and to hold, as 
some of the Roman orators could do, the vast 
assemblies in silent and breathless attention, 
was a power as delightful in its exercise as it 
was glorious in its fame. Caesar had felt this 
ambition, and had devoted himself very earn- 
estly to the study of oratory. 

His teacher was Apollonius, a philosopher 
and rhetorician from Rhodes. Rhodes is a 
Grecian island, near the southwestern coast of 
Asia Minor. Apollonius was a teacher of 



26 JULIUS CiESAR. 

great celebrity, and Caesar became a very able 
writer and speaker under his instructions. 
His time and attention were, in fact, strangely 
divided between the highest and noblest intel- 
lectual avocations, and the lowest sensual 
pleasures of a gay and dissipated life. The 
coming of Sylla had, however, interrupted all; 
and, after receiving the dictator's command to 
give up his wife and abandon the Marian fac- 
tion, and determining to disobey it, he fled 
suddenly from Eome, as was stated at the close 
of the last chapter, at midnight, and in dis- 
guise. 

He was sick, too, at the time, with an inter- 
mittent fever. The paroxysm returned once in 
three or four days, leaving him in tolerable 
health during the interval. He went first into 
the country of the Sabines, northeast of Eome, 
where he wandered up and down, exposed con- 
tinually to great dangers from those who knew 
that he was an object of the great dictator's 
displeasure, and who were sure of favor and of 
a reward if they could carry his head to Sylla. 
He had to change his quarters every day, and 
to resort to every possible mode of concealment. 
He was, however, at last discovered, and seized 
by a centurion. A centurion was a commander 
of a hundred men ; his rank and his position, 
therefore, corresponded somewhat with those 
of a captain in a modern army. Caesar was 
not much disturbed at this accident. He 



CiESAR'S EARLY YEARS. 27 

offered the centurion a bribe sufficient to in* 
duce him to give up his prisoner, and so es- 
caped. 

The two ancient historians, whose records 
contain nearly all the particulars of the early 
life of Caesar which are now known, give some- 
what contradictory accounts of the adventures 
which befell him during his subsequent wan- 
derings. They relate, in general, the same 
incidents, but in such different connections, 
that the precise chronological order of the 
events which occurred cannot now be ascer- 
tained. At all events, Caesar, finding that he 
was no longer safe in the vicinity of Rome, 
moved gradually to the eastward, attended by 
a few followers, until he reached the sea, and 
there he embarked on board a ship to leave his 
native land altogether. After various adven- 
tures and wanderings, he found himself at 
length in Asia Minor, and he made his way at 
last to the kingdom of Bithynia, on the north- 
ern shore. The name of the king of Bithynia 
was Nicomedes. Caesar joined himself to 
Nicomedes' court, and entered into his serv- 
ice. 

In the meantime, Sylla had ceased to 
pursue him, and ultimately granted him a par- 
don, but whether before or after this time is 
not now to be ascertained. At all events, 
Caesar became interested in the scenes and en- 
joyments of Nicomedes' court, and allowed the 



28 JULIUS CiESAR. 

time to pass away without forming any plana 
for returning to Eome. 

On the opposite side of Asia Minor, that is, 
on the southern shore, there was a wild and 
mountainous region called Cilicia. The great 
chain of mountains called Taurus approaches 
here very near to the sea, and the steep con- 
formations of the land, which, in the interior, 
produce lofty ranges and summits, and darl 
valleys and ravines, form, along the line of tlu 
shore, capes and promontories, bounded by 
precipitous sides, and with deep bays and har- 
bors between them. The people of Cilicia 
were accordingly half sailors, half mountain- 
eers. They built swift galleys, and made ex- 
cursions in great force over the Mediterranean 
Sea for conquest and plunder. They would 
capture single ships, and sometimes even whole 
fleets of merchantmen. They were even strong 
enough on many occasions to land and take 
possession of a harbor and a town, and hold 
it, often, for a considerable time, against all 
the efforts of the neighboring powers to dis- 
lodge them. In case, however, their enemies 
became at any time too strong for them, they 
would retreat to their harbors, which were so 
defended by the fortresses which guarded them, 
and by the desperate bravery of the garrisons, 
that the pursuers generally did not dare to at- 
tempt to force their way in; and if, in any 
case, a town or a port was taken, the indomi- 



CiESAR'S EARLY YEARS. 29 

table savages would continue their retreat to 
the fastnesses of the mountains, where it was 
utterly useless to attempt to follow them. 

But with all their prowess and skill as naval 
combatants, and their hardihood as mountain- 
eers, the Cilicians lacked one thing which is 
very essential in every nation, to an honorable 
military fame. They had no poets or histo- 
rians of their own, so that the story of their 
deeds had to be told to posterity by their 
enemies. If they had been able to narrate 
their own exploits, they would have figured, 
perhaps, upon the page of history as a small 
but brave and efficient maritime power, pursu- 
ing for many years a glorious career of con- 
quest, and acquiring imperishable renown by 
their enterprise and success. As it was, the 
Eomans, their enemies, described their deeds 
and gave them their designation. They called 
them robbers and pirates; and robbers and 
pirates they must forever remain. 

And it is, in fact, very likely true that the 
Cilician commanders did not pursue their con- 
quests and commit their depredations on the 
rights and the property of others in quite so 
systematic and methodical a manner as some 
other conquering states have done. They 
probably seized private property a little more 
unceremoniously than is customary ; though 
all belligerent nations, even in these Christian 
ages of the world, feel at liberty to seize and 



30 JULIUS CiESAR. 

confiscate private property when they find it 
afloat at sea, while, by a strange inconsistency, 
they respect it on the land. The Cilician 
pirates considered themselves at war with all 
mankind, and, whatever merchandise they 
found passing from port to port along the 
shores of the Mediterranean, they considered 
lawful spoil. They intercepted the corn which 
was going from Sicily to Rome, and filled their 
own granaries with it. They got rich mer- 
chandise from the ships of Alexandria, which 
brought, sometimes, gold, and gems, and 
costly fabrics from the east ; and they obtained, 
often, large sums of money by seizing men of 
distinction and wealth, who were continually 
passing to and fro between Italy and Greece, 
and holding them for a ransom. They were 
particularly pleased to get possession in this 
way of Eoman generals and officers of state, 
who were going out to take the command of 
armies, or who were returning from their 
provinces with the wealth which they had ac- 
cumulated there. 

Many expeditions were fitted out and many 
naval commanders were commissioned to sup- 
press and subdue these common enemies of 
mankind, as the Romans called them. At one 
time, while a distinguished general, named 
Antonius, was in pursuit of them at the head 
of a fleet, a party of the pirates made a descent 
upon the Italian coast, south of Eome, at 



CiESAR^S EARLY YEARS. 31 

Nicenun}, where the ancient patrimonial man- 
sion of this very Antonius was situated, and 
took away several members of his family as 
captives, and so compelled him to ransom, them 
by paying a very large sum of money. The 
pirates grew bolder and bolder in proportion 
to their success. They finally almost stopped 
all intercourse between Italy and Greece, 
neither the merchants daring to expose their 
merchandise, nor the passengers their persons 
to such dangers. They then approached nearer 
and nearer to Rome, and at last actually en- 
tered the Tiber, and surprised and carried off 
a Roman fleet which was anchored there. 
Caesar himself fell into the hands of these 
pirates at some time during the period of his 
wanderings. 

The pirates captured the ship in which he 
was sailing near Pharmacusa, a small island in 
the northeastern part of the ^gean Sea. He 
was not at this time in the destitute condition 
in which he had found himself on leaving 
Rome, but was traveling with attendants suit- 
able to his rank, and in such a style and man- 
ner as at once made it evident to the pirates 
that he was a man of distinction. They ac- 
cordingly held him for ransom, and, in the 
meantime, until he could take measures for 
raising the money, they kept him a prisoner on 
board the vessel which had captured him. 

In this situation, Caesar, though entirely in 



B^ JULIUS C^SAR. 

the power and at the mercy of his lawless cap- 
tors, assumed such an air of superiority and 
command in all his intercourse with them as 
at first awakened their astonishment, then ex- 
cited their admiration, and ended in almost 
subjecting them to his will. He asked them 
what they demanded for his ransom. They 
said twenty talents, which was quite a large 
amount, a talent itself being a considerable 
sum of money. Caesar laughed at this de- 
mand, and told them it was plain that they 
did not know who he was. He would give 
them jftfty talents. He then sent away his 
attendants to the shore, with orders to proceed 
to certain cities where he was known, in order 
to procure the money, retaining only a physi- 
cian and two servants for himself. "While his 
messengers were gone, he remained on board 
the ship of his captors, assuming in every re- 
spect the air and' manner of their master. 
When he wished to sleep, if they made a noise 
which disturbed him, he sent them orders to 
be still. He joined them in their sports and 
diversions on the deck, surpassing them in 
their feats, and taking the direction of every- 
thing as if he were their acknowledged leader. 
He wrote orations and verses which he read to 
them, and if his wild auditors did not appear 
to appreciate the literary excellence of his com- 
positions, he told them that they were stupid 
fools without any taste, adding, by way of 



C^SAR^S EARLY YEARS. S3 

apology, that nothing better could be expected 
of such barbarians. 

The pirates asked him one day what he 
should do to them if he should ever, at any 
future time, take them prisoners. Caesar said 
that he would crucify every one of them. 

The ransom money at length arrived. Caesar 
paid it to the pirates, and they, faithful to 
their covenant, sent him in a boat to the land. 
He was put ashore on the coast of Asia Minor. 
He proceeded immediately to Miletus, the 
nearest port, equipped a small fleet there, and 
put to sea. He sailed at once to the roadstead 
where the pirates had beea lying, and found 
them still at anchor there, in perfect security. 
He attacked them, seized their ships, recovered 
his ransom money, and took the men all 
prisoners. He conveyed his captives to the 
land, and there fulfilled his threat that he 
would crucify them by cutting their throats 
and nailing their dead bodies to crosses which 
his men erected for the purpose along the 
shore. 

During his absence from Eome Caesar went 
to Rhodes, where his former preceptor resided, 
and he continued to pursue there for some 
time his former studies. He looked forward 
still to appearing one day in the Roman 
Forum. In fact, he began to receive messages 



H JULIUS C^SAR. 

from his friends at home that they thought ifc 
would be safe for him to return. Sylla had 
gradually withdrawn from power, and finally 
had died. The aristocratical party were in- 
deed still in the ascendency, but the party of 
Marius had begun to recover a little from the 
total overthrow with which Sylla's return, and 
his terrible military vengeance, had over- 
whelmed them. Caesar himself, therefore, they 
thought, might, with prudent management, be 
safe in returning to Eome. 

He returned, but not to be prudent or cau- 
tious; there was no element of prudence or 
caution in his character. As soon as he ar- 
rived, he openly espoused the popular party. 
His first public act w^as to arraign the governor 
of the great province of Macedonia, through 
which he had passed on his way to Bithynia. 
It was a consul whom he thus impeached, and 
a strong partisan of Sylla's. His name was 
Dolabella. The people were astonished at his 
daring in thus raising the standard of resistance 
to Sylla's power, indirectly, it is true, but 
none the less really on that account. When the 
trial came on, and Caesar appeared at the For- 
um, he gained great applause by the vigor and 
force of his oratory. There was, of course, a 
very strong and general interest felt in the 
case; the people all seeming to understand 
that, in this attack on Dolabella, Caesar was 
appearing as their champion, and their hopes 



CiESAR'S EARLY YEARS. 35 

were revived at having at last found a leader 
capable of succeeding Marius, and building up 
their cause again. Dolabella was ably de- 
fended by orators on the other side, and was, 
of course, acquitted, for the power of Sylla's 
party was still supreme. All Eome, however, 
was aroused and excited by the boldness of 
Caesar's attack, and by the extraordinary 
ability which he evinced in his roode of con- 
ducting it. He became, in fact, at once one 
of the most conspicuous and prominent men in 
the city. 

Encouraged by his success, and the ap- 
plauses which he received, and feeling every 
day a greater and greater consciousness of 
power, he began to assume more and more 
openly the character of the leader of the popu- 
lar party. He devoted himself to public speak- 
ing in the Forum, both before popular assem- 
blies and in the courts of justice, where he was 
employed a great deal as an advocate to defend 
those who were accused of political crimes. 
The people, considering him as their rising 
champion, were predisposed fo regard every- 
thing that he did with favor, and there was 
really a great intellectual power displayed in 
bis orations and harangues. He acquired, in 
a word, great celebrity by his boldness and 
energy, and his boldness and energy were 
themselves increased in their turn as he felt the 
strength of his position increase with his 
growing celebrity. 



36 JULIUS Ci^SAR. 

At length the wife of Marius, who was 
Caesar's aunt, died. She had lived in obscu- 
rity since her husband's proscription and death, 
his party having been put down so effectually 
that it was dangerous to appear to be her 
friend. Caesar, however, made preparations 
for a magnificent funeral for her. There was 
a place in the Forum, a sort of pulpit, where 
public orators were accustomed to stand in ad- 
dressing the assembly on great occasions. 
This pulpit was adorned with the brazen beaks 
of ships which had been taken by the Romans 
in former wars. The name of such a beak w^as 
rostrum; in the plural, rostra. The pulpit 
was itself, therefore, called the Bostra, that is, 
The Beaks; and the people were addressed 
from it on great public occasions.^' Caesar 
pronounced a splendid panegyric upon the wife 
of Marius, at this her funeral, from the Eostra, 
in the presence of a vast concourse of specta- 
tors, and he had the boldness to bring out and 
display to the people certain household images 
of Marius, w^hich had been concealed from 
view ever since his death. Producing them 
again on such an occasion was annulling, so far 
as a public orator could do it, the sentence of 
condemnation which Sylla and the patrician 
party had pronounced against him, and bring- 

* In modern books this pulpit is sometimes called the 
Rostrum; using the word iu the singular. 



CiESAR'S Ex\RLY YEARS. 37 

ing him forward again as entitled to public ad- 
miration and applause. The patrician parti- 
sans who were jjresent attempted to rebuke 
this bold maneuver with expressions of disap- 
probation, but these expressions were drowned 
in the loud and long-continued bursts of ap- 
plause with which the great mass of the as- 
sembled multitude hailed and sanctioned it. 
The experiment was very bold and very hazard- 
ous, but it was triumphantly successful. 

A short time time after this Caesar had 
another opportunity for delivering a funeral 
oration ; it was in the case of his own wife, 
the daughter of Cinna, who had been the col- 
league and coadjutor of Marius during the days 
of his power. It was not usual to pronounce 
such panegyrics upon Eoman ladies unless 
they had attained to an advanced age. Caesar, 
however, was disposed to make the case of his 
own wife an exception to the ordinary rule. 
He saw in the occasion an opportunity to give 
a new impulse to the popular cause, and to 
make further progress in gaining the popular 
favor. The experiment was successful in this 
instance too. The people were i)leased at the 
apx)arent affection which his action evinced; 
and as Cornelia was the daughter of Cinna, he 
had opportunity, under pretext of praising the 
birth and parentage of the deceased, to laud 
the men whom Syllas' party had outlawed and 
destroyed. In a word, the patrician party saw 



38 JULIUS C^SAR. 

with anxiety and dread that Caesar was rapidly 
consolidating and organizing, and bringing 
back to its pristine strength and vigor, a party 
whose restoration to power would of course in- 
volve their own political, and perhaps personal 
ruin. 

Caesar began soon to receive appointments 
to public office, and thus rapidly increased his 
influence and power. Public officers and can- 
didates for office were accustomed in those 
days to expend great sums of money in shows 
and spectacles to amuse the people. Caesar 
went beyond all limits in these expenditures. 
He brought gladiators from distant provinces, 
and trained them at great expense, to fight in 
the enormous amphitheaters of the city, in the 
midst of vast assemblies of men. Wild beasts 
were procured also from the forests of Africa, 
and brought over in great numbers, under his 
direction, that the people might be entertained 
by their combats with captives taken in war, 
who were reserved for this dreadful fate. 
Caesar gave, also, splendid entertainments, of 
the most luxurious and costly character, and he 
mingled with his guests at these entertain- 
ments, and with the people at large on other 
occasions, in so complaisant and courteous a 
manner as to gain universal favor. 

He soon, by these means, not only ex- 
hausted all his own pecuniary resources, but 
plunged himself enormously into debt. It 



CiESAR'S EARLY YEARS. 39 

was not difficult for such a man in those days 
to procure an almost unlimited credit for such 
purposes as these, for every one knew that, if 
he finally succeeded in placing himself, by 
means of the popularity thus acquired, m 
stations of power, he could soon indemnify 
himself and all others who had aided him. 
The peaceful merchants, and artisans, and 
husbandmen of the distant provinces over 
which he expected to rule, would yield the 
revenues necessary to fill the treasuries thus 
exhausted. Still, Caesar's expenditures were 
so lavish, and the debts he incurred were so 
enormous, that those who had not the most 
unbounded confidence in his capacity and his 
powers believed him irretrievably ruiued. 

The particulars, however, of these difficul- 
ties, and the manner in which Caesar contrived 
to extricate himself from them, will be more 
fully detailed in the next chapter. 



40 JULIUS CiESAR. 



CHAPTEE III 

ADVANCEMENT TO THE CONSULSHIP, 

From this time, which was about sixty-seven 
years before the birth of Christ, Caesar re- 
maiDed for nine years generally at Eome, en- 
gaged there in a constant struggle for power. 
He was successful in these efforts, rising all 
the time from one position of influence and 
honor to another, until he became altogether 
the most prominent and powerful man in the 
city. A great many incidents are recorded, as 
attending these contests, which illustrate in a 
very striking manner the strange mixture of 
rude violence and legal formality by which 
Rome was in those days governed. 

Many of the most important offices of the 
state depended upon the votes of the people ; 
and as the people had very little opportunity 
to become acquainted with the real merits of 
the case in respect to questions of government, 
they gave their votes very much according to 
the personal popularity of the candidate. 
Public men had very little moral principle in 
those days, and they would accordingly resort 



CiESAR'S EARLY YEARS. 4J 

to any means whatever to procure this per- 
sonal popularity. They who wanted oflQce 
were accustomed to bribe influential men 
among the people to support them, sometimes 
by promising them subordinate ofiices, and 
sometimes by the direct donation of sums of 
money ; and they would try to please the mass 
of the people, who were too numerous to be 
paid with offices or with gold, by shows and 
spectacles, and entertainments of every kind 
which they would provide for their amusement. 

This practice seems to us very absurd ; and 
we wonder that the Koman people should tol- 
erate it, since it is evident that the means for 
defraying these expenses must come, ulti- 
mately, in some way or other, from them. 
And yet, absurd as it seems, this sort of policy 
is not wholly disused even in our day. The 
operas and the theaters, and other similar es- 
tablishments in France, are sustained, in part, 
by the government; and the liberality and 
efficiency with which this is done, forms, in 
some degree, the basis of the popularity of each 
succeeding administration. The plan is better 
systematized and regulated in our day, but it 
is, in its nature, substantially the same. 

In fact, furnishing amusements for the peo- 
ple, and also providing supplies for their 
wants, as well as affording them protection, 
were considered the legitimate objects of 
government in those days* It is very different 



42 JULIUS CESAR. 

at the present time, and especially in this 
country. The whole community are now 
united in the desire to confine the functions 
of government within the narrowest possible 
limits, such as to include only the preserva- 
tion of public order and public safety. The 
people prefer to supply their own wants and 
to provide their own enjoyments, rather than 
to invest government with the power to do it 
for them, knowing very well that, on the latter 
plan, the burdens they will have to bear, 
though concealed for a time, must be doubled 
in the end. 

It must not be forgotten, however, that there 
were some reasons in the days of the Eomans 
for providing public amusements for the peo- 
ple on an extended scale which do not exist 
now. They had very few facilities then for 
the private and separate enjoyments of home, so 
that they were much more inclined than the 
people of this country are now to to seek pleas- 
ure abroad and in public. The climate, too, 
mild and genial nearly all the year, favored 
this. Then they were not interested, as men 
are now, in the pursuits and avocations of pri- 
vate industry. The people of Rome were not 
a community of merchants, manufacturers, and 
citizens, enriching themselves, and adding to 
the comforts and enjoyments of the rest of 
. mankind by the products of their labor. 
They were supported, in a great measure, by 



CiESAR'S EARLY YEARS. 43 

the proceeds of the tribute of foreign provinces, 
and by the plunder taken by the generals in 
the name of the state in foreign wars. From 
the same source, too — foreign conquest — 
captives were brought home, to be trained as 
gladiators to amuse them with their combats, 
and statues and paintings to ornament the 
public buildings of the city. In the same 
manner, large quantities of corn, which had 
been taken in fhe provinces, were often distrib- 
uted at Rome. And sometimes even land 
itself, in large tracts, which had been confis- 
cated by the state, or otherwise taken from the 
original possessors, was divided among the 
people. The laws enacted from time to time 
for this purpose were called Agrarian laws; 
and the phrase afterward passed into a sort of 
proverb, inasmuch as plans proposed in 
modern times for conciliating the favor of the 
populace by sharing among them property 
belonging to the state or to the rich, are des- 
ignated by the name of Acjrarianism. 

Thus Rome was a city supported, in a great 
measure, by the fruits of its conquests, that 
is, in a certain sense, by plunder. It was a 
vast community most efficiently and admirably 
organized for this purpose; and yet it would 
not be perfectly just to designate the people 
simply as a band of robbers. They rendered, 
in some sense, an equivalent for what they 
took, in establishing and enforcing a certain 



44 JULIUS CiESAR. 

organization of society throughout the world, 
and in preserving a sort of public order and 
peace. They built cities, they constructed 
aqueducts and roads; they formed harbors, 
and protected them by piers and by castles ; 
they protected commerce, and cultivated the 
arts, and encouraged literature, and enforced 
a general quiet and peace among mankind, 
allowing of no violence or war except what 
they themselves created. Thus they governed 
the world, and they felt, as all governors of 
mankind always do, fully entitled to supply 
themselves with the comforts and conveniences 
of life, in consideration of the service which 
they thus rendered. 

Of coTirse, it was to be expected that they 
would sometimes quarrel among themselves 
about the spoils. Ambitious men were always 
arising, eager to obtain opportunities to make 
fresh conquests, and to bring home new sup- 
plies, and those who were most successful in 
making the results of their conquests available 
in adding to the wealth and to the public en- 
joyments of the city, would, of course, be 
most popular with the voters. Hence extor- 
tion in the provinces, and the most profuse and 
lavish expenditure in the city, became the 
policy which every great man must pursue to 
rise to power. 

Csesar entered into this policy with his 
whole soul, founding all his hopes of success 



CiESAR^S EARLY YEARS. 45 

upon the favor of the populace. Of course, 
he had many rivals and opponents among the 
patrician ranks, and in the Senate, and thej' 
often impeded and thwarted his plans and 
measures for a time, though he always tri- 
umphed in the end. 

One of the first offices of importance to 
which he attained was that of qucestor, as it 
was called, which office called him away from 
Rome into the province of Spain, making him 
the second in command there. The officer 
first in command in the province was, in this 
instance, a praetor. During his absence' in 
Spain, Caesar replenished in some degree his 
exhausted finances, but he soon became very 
much discontented with so subordinate a posi- 
tion. His discontent was greatly increased by 
his coming unexpectedly, one day, at a city 
then called Hades — the present Cadiz — upon a 
statue of Alexander, which adorned one of the 
public edifices there. Alexander died when 
he was only about thirty years of age, having 
before that period made himself master of the 
world. Caesar was himself now about thirty- 
five years of age, and it made him very sad to 
reflect that, though he had lived fiwe years 
longer than Alexander, he had yet acc< m- 
plished so little. He was thus far only the 
second in a province, while he burned with an 
insatiable ambition to be the first in Eome. 
The reflection made him so uneasy that he left 



46 JULIUS C^SAR. 

his post before his time expired, and went back 
to Rome, forming, on the way, desperate proj- 
ects for getting power there. 

His rivals and enemies accused him of vari- 
ous schemes, more or less violent and trea- 
sonable in their nature, but how justly it is 
not now possible to ascertain. They alleged 
that one of his plans was to join some of the 
neighboring colonies, whose inhabitants wished 
to be admitted to the freedom of the city, and, 
making common cause with them, to raise an 
armed force and take possession of Rome. It 
was said that, to prevent the accomplishment 
of this design, an army which they had raised 
for the purpose of an expedition against the 
Cilician pirates was detained from its march, 
and that Caesar, seeing that the government 
were on their guard against him, abandoned 
the plan. 

They also charged him with having formed, 
after this, a lAsm within the city for assassi- 
nating the senators in the senate house, and 
then usurping, with his fellow-conspirators, 
the supreme power. Crassus, who was a man 
of vast wealth and a great friend of Caesar's, 
was associated with him in this plot, and was 
to have been made dictator if it had succeeded. 
But, notwithstanding the brilliant prize with 
which Caesar attem[)ted to allure Crassus to 
the enterprise, his courage failed him when the 
time for action arrivedi Courage and enter- 



CiESAR'S EARLY YEARS. 47 

prise, in fact, ought not to be expected of the 
rich ; they are the virtues of poverty. 

Though the Senate were thus jealous and 
suspicious of Caesar, and were charging him 
continually with these criminal designs, the 
people were on his side ; and the more he waa 
hated by the great, the more strongly he be- 
came intrenched in the popular favor. They 
chose him cedile. The aedile had the charge 
of the public edifices of the city, and of the 
games, spectacles, and shows which were ex- 
hibited in them. Caesar entered with great 
zeal into the discharge of the duties of this 
office. He made arrangements for the enter- 
tainment of the people on the most magnificent 
scale, and made great additions and improve- 
ments to the public buildings, constructing 
porticoes and piazzas around the areas where 
his gladiatorial shows and the combats with 
wild beasts were to be exhibited. He provided 
gladiators in such numbers, and organized and 
arranged them in such a manner, ostensibly 
for their training, that his enemies among the 
nobility pretended to believe that he was in- 
tending to use them as an armed force against 
the government of the city. They accordingly 
made laws limiting and restricting tlie number 
of the gladiators to be employed. Caesar then 
exhibited his shows on the reduced scale which 
the new laws required, taking care that the 
people should understand to whom the respon- 



48 JULIUS C^SAR. 

sibility for this reduction in the scale of their 
pleasures belonged. They, of course, mur- 
mured against the Senate, and Caesar stood 
higher in their favor than ever. 

He was getting, however, by these means, 
very deeply involved in debt; and, in order 
partly to retrieve his fortunes in this respect, 
he made an attempt to have Egypt assigned to 
him as a province. Egypt was then an im- 
mensely rich and fertile country. It had, 
however, never been a Roman province. It 
was an independent kingdom, in alliance with 
the Eomans, and Caesar's proposal that it 
should be assigned to him as a province ap- 
peared very extraordinary. His pretext was, 
that the people of Egypt had recently deposed 
and expelled their king, and that, conse- 
quently, the Romans might properly take pos- 
session of it. The Senate, however, resisted 
this plan, either from jealousy of Caesar or 
from a sense of justice to Egypt; and, after a 
violent contest, Caesar found himself compelled 
to give up the design. He felt, however, a 
strong degree of resentment against the patri- 
cian party who had thus thwarted his designs. 
Accordingly, in order to avenge himself upon 
them, he one night replaced certain statues 
and troi)hies of Marius in the capitol, which 
had been taken down by order of SylU when 
he returned to power. Marius, as will be 
recollected, had been the great champion of the 



Cesar's early years. 49 

popular party, and the enemy of the patricians ; 
and, at the time of his downfall, all the memo- 
rials of his power and greatness had been 
everywhere removed from Eome, and, among 
them these statues and trophies, which had 
been erected in the capitol in commemoration 
of some former victories, and had remained 
there until Sylla's triumph, when they were 
kiken dow^n and destroyed. Csesar now ordered 
new ones to be made, far more magnificent than 
before. They were made secretly, and put up 
in the night. His office as sedile gave him 
the necessary authority. The next morning, 
when the people saw these splendid monu- 
ments of their great favorite restored, the 
whole city was animated with excitement and 
joy. The patricians, on the other hand were 
filled with vexation and rage. '*Here is a 
single officer,*' said they, *'who is attempting 
to restore, by his individual authority, what 
has been formally abolished by a decree of the 
Senate. He is trying to see how much we will 
bear. If he finds that we will submit to this, 
he will attempt bolder measures still." They 
accordingly commenced a movement to have 
the statues and trophies taken down again, but 
the peox^le rallied in vast numbers in defense 
of them. They made the capitol ring with 
their shouts of applause ; and the Senate, find- 
ing their power insufficient to cope with so 



\ 

60 JULIUS C^SAR. 

great a force, gave up the point, and Caesar 
gained the day. 

Caesar had married another wife after the 
death of Cornelia. Her name was Pompeia. 
He divorced Pompeia about this time, under 
very extraordinary circumstances. Among 
the other strange religious ceremonies and 
celebrations which were observed in those 
days, was one called the celebration of the 
mysteries of the Good Goddess. This cele- 
bration was held by females alone, everything 
masculine being most carefully excluded. 
Even the pictures of men, if there were any 
upon the walls of the house where the assembly 
was held, were covered. The persons engaged 
spent the night together in music and dancing 
and various secret ceremonies, half pleasure, 
half worship, according to the ideas and cus- 
toms of the time. 

The mysteries of the Good Goddess were to 
be celebrated one night at Caesar's house, he 
himself having, of course, withdrawn. In the 
middle of the night, the whole company in one 
of the apartments were thrown into consterna- 
tion at finding that one of their number was a 
man. He had a smooth and youthful-looking 
face, and was very perfectly disguised in the 
dress of a female. He proved to be a certain 
Clodius, a very base and dissolute young man, 
though of great wealth and high connections. 
He had been admitted by £^ female slave of 



CESAR'S EARLY YEARS. 51 

Pompeia's, whom he had succeeded in brib- 
ing. It was suspected that it was with Pom- 
peia's concurrence. At any rate, Caesar im- 
mediately divorced his wife. The Senate 
ordered an inquiry into the affair, and, after 
the other members of the household had given 
their testimony, Caesar himself was called 
upon, but he had nothing to say. He knew 
nothing about it. They asked him, then, why 
he had divorced Pompeia, unless he had some 
evidence for believing her guilty. He replied, 
that a wife of Caesar must not only be without 
crime, but without suspicion. 

Clodius was a very desperate and lawless 
character, and his subsequent history shows, 
in a striking point of view, the degree of vio- 
lence and disorder which reigned in those 
times. He became involved in a bitter conten- 
tion with another citizen whose name was 
Milo, and each, gaining as many adherents as 
he could, at length drew almost the whole city 
into their quarrel. Whenever they went out, 
they were attended with armed bands, which 
were continually in danger of coming into col- 
lision. The collision at last came, quite a 
battle was foupht, and Clodius was killed. 
This made the difficulty worse than it was be- 
fore. Parties were formed, and violent dis- 
putes arose on the question of bringing Milo 
to trial for the alleged murder. He was 
brought to trial at last, but so great was the 



62 427 205 fHi 



52 JULIUS C^SAR. 

public excitement, that the codsuIs for the time 
surrounded and filled the whole Forum with 
armed men while the trial was proceeding, to 
insure the safety of the court. 

In fact, violence mingled itself continually, 
in those times, with almost all public proceed- 
ings, whenever any special combination of cir- 
cumstances occurred to awaken unusual excite- 
ment. At one time, when Caesar w^as in office, 
a very dangerous conspiracy was brought to 
light, which was headed by the notorious 
Catiline. It was directed chiefly against the 
Senate and the higher departments of the 
government; it contemplated, in fact, their 
utter destruction, and the establishment of an 
entirely now government on the ruins of the 
existing constitution. Csesar was himself ac- 
cused of a participation in this plot. When it 
was discovered, Catiline himself fled; some 
of the other conspirators were, however, ar- 
rested, and there was a long and very excited 
debate in the Senate on the question of their 
punishment. Some were for death. Caesar, 
however, very earnestly opposed this plan, 
recommending, instead, the confiscation of the 
estates of the conspirators, and their imprison- 
ment in some of the distant cities of Italy. 
The dispute grew very warm, Caesar urging his 
point with great perseverance and determina- 
tion, and with a degree of violence which 
threatened seriously to obstruct the proceed- 



CiESAR'S EARLY YEARS. 63 

!kWgs, when a body of armed meD, a sort of 
guard of honor stationed there, gathered 
around him, and threatened him with their 
swords. Quite a scene of disorder and terror 
ensued. Some of the senators arose hastily 
and fled from the vicinity of Caesar's seat to 
avoid the danger. Others, more courageous, 
or more devoted in their attachment to him, 
gathered around him to protect him, as far as 
they could, by interposing their bodies be- 
tween his person and the weapons of his as- 
sailants. Caesar soon left the Senate, and for 
a long time would return to it no more. 

Although Caesar was all this time, on the 
whole, rising in influence and power, there 
were still fluctuations in his fortune, and the 
tide sometimes, for a short period, went 
strongly against him. He was at one time, 
when greatly involved in debt, and embarassed 
in all his affairs, a candidate for a very high 
office, that of Pontifex Maximus, or sovereign 
pontiff. The office of the pontifex was origin- 
ally that of building and keeping custody of 
the bridges of the city, the name being derived 
from the Latin word pons, which signifies 
bridge. To this, however, had afterward been 
added the care of the temples, and finally the 
regulation and control of the ceremonies of re- 
ligion, so that it came in the end to be an 
office of the highest dignity and honor. Caesar 
made the most desperate efforts to secure his 



64 JULIUS C^SAR. 

election, resorting to such measures, expend- 
ing such sums, and involving himself in debt 
to such an extreme, that, if he failed, he 
would be irretrievably ruined. His mother, 
sympathizing with him in his anxiety, kissed 
him when he went away from the house on the 
morning of the election, and bade him farewell 
with tears. He told her that he should come 
home that night the pontiff, or he should never 
come home at all. He succeeded in gaining 
the election. 

At one time Caesar was actually deposed from 
a high office which he held, by a decree of the 
Senate. He determined to disregard this de- 
cree, and go on in the discharge of his office 
as usual. But the Senate, whose ascendency 
was now, for some reason, once more estab- 
lished, prepared to prevent him by force of 
arms. Caesar, finding that he was not sus- 
tained, gave up the contest, put off his robes 
of office, and went home. Two days afterward 
a reaction occurred. A mass of the populace 
came together to his house, and offered their 
assistance to restore his rights and vindicate 
his honor. Caesar, however, contrary to what 
every one would have expected of him, exerted 
his influence to calm and quiet the mob, and 
then sent them away, remaining himself in 
private as before. The Senate had been 
alarmed at the first outbreak of the tumult, 
and a meeting had been suddenly convened to 



CiESAR'S EARLY YEARS. 55 

consider what measures to adopt in such a 
crisis. When, however, they found that 
Caesar had himself interposed, and by his own 
personal influence had saved the city from the 
danger which threatened it, they were so 
strongly impressed with a sense of his forbear- 
ance and generosity, that they sent for him to 
come to the senate house, and, after formally 
expressing their thanks, they canceled their 
former vote, and restored him to his office 
again. This change in the action of the 
Senate does not, however, necessarily indicate 
so great a change of individual sentiment as 
one might at first imagine. There was, un- 
doubtedly, a large minority who were averse 
to his being deposed in the first instance ; but, 
being outvoted, the decree of deposition was 
passed. Others were, perhaps, more or less 
doubtful. Caesar's generous forbearance in re- 
fusing the offered aid of the populace carried 
over a number of these sufficient to shift the 
majorit3% and thuj5 the action of the body was 
reversed. It is in this way that the sudden 
an apparently total changes in the action of 
deliberative assemblies which often take place, 
and which would otherwise, in some cases, be 
almost incredible, are to be explained. 

After this, Caesar became involved in another 
difficulty, in consequence of the appearance of 
some definite and positive evidence tliat he 
was connected with Catiline in his famous con- 



56 JULIUS CiESAR. 

spiracy. One of the senators said that Cati- 
line himself had informed him that Caesar was 
one of the accomplices of the plot. Another 
witness, named Vettius, laid an information 
against Caesar before a Eoman magistrate, and 
offered to produce Caesar's handwriting in 
proof of his participation in the conspirator's 
designs. Caesar was very much incensed, and 
his manner of vindicating himself from these 
serious charges was as singular as many of his 
other deeds. He arrested Vettius, and sen- 
tenced him to pay a heavy fine, and to be im- 
prisoned ; and he contrived also to expose him, 
in the course of the proceedings, to the mob in 
the Forum, who were always ready to espouse 
Caesar's cause, and who, on this occasion, beat 
Vettius so unmercifully, that he barely es- 
caped with his life. The magistrate, too, was 
thrown into prison for having dared to take an 
information against a superior officer. 

At last Caesar became so much involved in 
debt, through the boundless extravagance of 
his expenditures, that something must be done 
to replenish his exhausted finances. He had, 
however, by this time, risen so high in official 
influence and power, that he succeeded in hav- 
ing Spain assigned to him as his province, 
and he began to make preparations to proceed 
to it. His creditors, however, interposed, un- 
willing to let him go without giving them 
security. In this dilemma, Caesar succeeded 



CESAR'S EARLY YEARS. 57 

in making an arrangement with Crassus, who 
has already been spoken of as a man of un- 
bounded wealth and great ambition, but ndjfc 
possessed of any considerable degree of intet 
lectual power. Crassus consented to give the 
necessary security, with an understanding that 
Caesar was to repay him by exerting his poli- 
tical influence in his favor. So soon as this 
arrangement was made, Caesar set off in a sud- 
den and private manner, as if he expected that 
otherwise some new difficulty would intervene. 

He went to Spain by land, passing through 
Switzerland on the way. He stopped with his 
attendants one night at a very insignificant 
village of shepherds' huts among the moun- 
tains. Struck with the poverty and worthless- 
ness of all they saw in this wretched hamlet, 
Caesar's friends were wondering whether the 
jealousy, rivalry, and ambition which reigned 
among men everywhere else in the world could 
find any footing there, when Caesar told them 
that, for his part, he should rather choose to 
be first in such a village as that than the 
second at Rome. The story has been repeated 
a thousand times, and told to every successive 
generation now for nearly twenty centuries, 
as an illustration of the peculiar type and 
character of the ambition which controls such 
a soul as that of Caesar. 

Caesar was very successful in the administra- 
tion of his province ; that is to say, he returned 



68 JULIUS C^SAR. 

in a short time with considerable military 
glory, and with money enough to pay all his 
debts, and furnish him with means for fresh 
electioneering. 

He now felt strong enough to aspire to ithe 
oflSce of consul, which was the highest office of 
the Eoman state. When the line of kings had 
been deposed, the Romans had vested the 
supreme magistracy in the hands of two con- 
suls, who were chosen annually in a general 
election, the formalities of which were all very 
carefully arranged. The current of popular 
opinion was, of course, in Caesar's favor, but 
he had many powerful rivals and enemies 
among the great, who, however, hated and 
opposed each other as well as him. There 
was at that time a very bitter feud between 
Pompey and Crassus, each of them struggling 
for power against the efforts of the other. 
Pompey possessed great influence through his 
splendid abilities and his military renown. 
Crassus, as has already been stated, was 
powerful through his wealth. Caesar, who 
had some influence with them both, now con- 
ceived the bold design of reconciling them, and 
then of availing himself of tbeir united aid in 
accomplishing his own particular ends. 

He succeeded perfectly well in his manage- 
ment. He represented to them that, by con- 
tending against each other, they only ex- 
hausted their owu powers, and strengthened 



CiESAR'S EARLY YEARS. 59 

the arms of their common enemies. He pro- 
posed to them to unite with one another and 
with him, and thus make common cause to 
promote their common interest and advance- 
ment. They willingly acceded to this plan, 
and a triple league was accordingly formed, in 
which they each bound themselves to promote, 
by every means in his power, the political ele- 
vation of the others, and not to take any public 
step or adopt any measures without the concur- 
rence of the three. Caesar faithfully observed 
the obligations of this league so long as he 
could use his two associates to promote his own 
ends, and then he abandoned it. 

Having, however, completed this arrange- 
ment, he was now prepared to push vigorously 
his claims to be elected consul. He associated 
with his own name that of Lucceius, who was 
a man of great wealth, and who agreed to de- 
fray the expenses of the election for the sake 
of the honor of being consul with Cfesar. 
Caesar's enemies, however, knowing that they 
probably could not jjrevent his election, deter- 
mined to concentrate their strength in the effort 
to prevent his having the colleague he desired. 
They made cfioice, therefore, of a certain 
Bibulus as their candidate. Bibulus had 
always been a political opponent of Caesar's, 
and they thought that, by associating him with 
Caesar in the fiu})reine magistracy, the pride 
and ambition of their great adversary might 



60 . JULIUS C^SAR. 

be held somewhat in check. They accordingly 
made a contribution among themselves to en- 
able Bibulus to expend as much money in 
bribery as Lucceius, and the canvass went on. 

It resulted in the election of Caesar and Bibu- 
lus. They entered upon the duties of their 
office ; but Csesar, almost entirely disregarding 
his colleague, began to assume the whole 
power, and proposed and carried measure after 
measure of the most extraordinary character, 
all aiming at the gratification of the populace. 
He was at first opposed violently both by Bi- 
bulus and by many leading members of the 
Senate, especially by Cato, a stern and inflexi- 
ble patxiot, whom neither fear of danger nor 
hope of reward could move from what he re- 
garded his duty. But Caesar was now getting 
strong enough to put down the opposition 
which he encountered without much scruple as 
to the means. He ordered Cato on one occa- 
sion to be arrested in the Senate and sent to 
prison. Another influential member of the 
Senate rose and was going out with him. 
Caesar asked him where he was going. He 
said he was going with Cato. He would 
rather, he said, be with Cato in prison, than 
in the Senate with Caesar. 

Caesar treated Bibulus also with so much 
neglect, and assumed so entirely the whole 
control of the consular power, to the utter ex- 
clusion of bis colleague, that Bibulus at last, 



C^SAR^S EARLY YEARS. 61 

completely discouraged and chagriDed, aban- 
doned all pretension to ofiicial authority, re- 
tired to his house, and shut himself up in per- 
fect seclusion, leaving Caesar to his own way. 
It was customary among the Eomans, in their 
historical and narrative writings, to designate 
the successive years, not by a numerical date 
as with us, but by the names of the consuls 
who held oflSce in them. Thus, in the time of 
Caesar's consulship, the phrase would have 
been, **In the year of Caesar and Bibulus, 
consuls," according to the ordinary usage; but 
the wags of the city, in order to make sport of 
the assumptions of Caesar and the insignifi- 
cance of Bibulus, used to say, ''In the year of 
Julius and Caesar, consuls," rejecting the 
name of Bibulus altogether, and taking the two 
names of Caesar to make out the necessary 
duality 



6^ JULIUS C^SAR. 



CHAPTEB IV. 

THE CONQUEST OF GAUL. 

In attaining to the consulship, Caesar had 
reached the highest point of elevation wjiich it 
was possible to reach as a mare citizen of 
Rome. His ambition was, however, of course, 
not satisfied. The only way to acquire higher 
distinction and to rise to higher power was to 
enter upon a career of foreign conquest. 
Caesar therefore aspired now to be a soldier. 
He accordingly obtained the command of an 
army, and entered upon a course of military 
campaigns in the heart of Europe, which he 
continued for eight years. These eight years 
constitute one of the most important and 
strongly-marked periods of his life. He was 
triumphantly successful in his military career, 
and he made, accordingly, a vast accession to 
his celebrity and power, in his own day, by 
the results of his campaigns. He also wrote, 
himself, an account of his adventures during 
this period, in which the events are recorded in 
so lucid and in so eloquent a manner, that the 
narrations have continued to be read by every 



THE CONQUEST OF GAUL. 63 

successive generation of scholars down to the 
present day, and they have had a great influ- 
ence in extending and perpetuating his fame. 

The principal scenes of the exploits which 
Caesar performed during the period of this his 
first great military career, were the north of 
Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, and Eng- 
land, a great tract of country, nearly all of 
which he overran and conquered. A large 
portion of this territory was called Gaul in 
those days ; the part on the Italian side of the 
Alps being named Cisalpine Gaul, while that 
which lay beyond was designated as Transal- 
pine. Transalpine Gaul was substantially 
what is now France. There was a part of 
Transalpine Gaul which had been already con- 
quered and reduced to a Roman province. It 
was called The Province then, and has retained 
the name, with a slight change in orthography, 
to the present day. It is now known as Prov- 
ence. 

The countries which Caesar went to invade 
were occupied by various nations and tribes, 
many of which were well organized and war- 
like, and some of them were considerably civi- 
lized and wealthy. They had extended tracts 
of cultivated land, the slopes of the hills and 
the mountain sides being formed into green 
pasturages, which were covered with flocks of 
goats, and sheep, and herds of cattle, while 
the smoother and more level tracts were 



64 JULIUS C^SAR. 

adorned with smiliog vioeyards and broadly- 
extended fields of waving grain. They had 
cities, forts, ships, and armies. Their man- 
ners and customs would be considered some- 
what rude by modern nations, and some of 
their usages of war were half barbarian. For 
example, in one of the nations which Caesar 
encountered, he found, as he says in his narra- 
tive, a corps of cavalry, as a constituent part of 
the army, in which, to every horse, there were 
tivo men, one the rider, and the other a sort of 
foot soldier and attendant. If the battle went 
against them, and the squadron were put to 
their speed in a retreat, these footmen would 
cling to the manes of the horses, and then, half 
running, half flying, they would be borne 
along over the field, thus keeping always at the 
side of their comrades, and escaping with 
them to a place of safety. 

But, although the Romans were inclined to 
consider these nations as only half civilized, 
still there would be great glory, as Caesar 
thought, in subduing them, and probably great 
treasure would be secured in the conquest, both 
by the plunder and confiscation of govern- 
mental property, and by the tribute which 
would be collected in taxes from the people of 
the countries subdued. Caesar accordingly 
placed himself at the head of an army of three 
Koman legions, which he contrived, by means 
of a great deal of political maneuvering and 



THE CONQUEST OF GAUL. 65 

management, to have raised and placed under 
his command. One of these legions, which was 
called the tenth legion, was his favorite corps, 
on account of the bravery and hardihood which 
fchey often displayed. At the head of these 
legions Caesar set out for Gaul. He was at 
this time not far from forty years of age. 

Caesar had no difficulty in finding pretexts 
for making war upon any of these various 
nations that he might desire to subdue. Thev 
were, of course, frequently at war with each 
other, and there were at all times standing 
topics of controversy and unsettled disputes 
among them. Caesar had, therefore, only to 
draw near to the scene of contention, and then 
to take sides with one party or the other, it 
mattered little with which, for the affair almost 
always resulted, in the end, in his making 
himself master of both. The manner, how- 
ever, in which this sort of operation was per- 
formed, can best be illustrated by an example, 
and we will take for the purpose the case of 
Ariovistus. 

Ariovistus was a German king. He had 
been nominally a sort of ally of the Eomans. 
He had extended his conquests across the 
Rhine into Gaul, and he held some nations 
there as his tributaries. Among these, the 
^duans were a prominent party, and, to sim- 
plify the account, we will take their name as 
the representative of all who were concerned. 



66 JULIUS CiESAR. 

When Caesar came into the region of the -3Ed- 
uans, he entered inio some negotiations with 
them, in which they, as he alleges, asked hia 
assistance to enable them to throw ojff the do- 
minion of their German enemy. It is prob- 
able, in fact, that there was some proposition 
of this kind from them, for Csesar had abun- 
dant means of inducing them to make it, if he 
was disposed; and the receiving of such a 
communication furnished the most obvious and 
plausible pretext to authorize and justify his 
interposition. 

Csesar accordingly sent a messenger across 
the Rhine to Ariovistus, saying that he wished 
to have an interview with him on business of 
importance, and asking him to name a time 
which would be convenient to him for the in- 
terview, and also to appoint some place in 
Gaul where he would attend. 

To this Ariovistus replied that if he had, 
himself, any business with Caesar, he would 
have waited upon him to propose it; and, in 
the same manner, if Caosar wished to see him, 
he must come into his own dominions. He 
said that it would not be safe for him to come 
into Gaul without an army, and that it was 
not convenient for him to raise and equip an 
army for such a purpose at that time. 

Caesar sent again to Ariovistus to say, that 
since he was so unmindful of his obligations to 
the Eoman people as to refuse an interview 



THE CONQUEST OF GAUL. 67 

with him on business of common interest, he 
would state the particulars that he required of 
him. The iEduans, he said, were now his 
allies, and under his protection, and Ariovistus 
must send back the hostages which he held 
from them, and bind himself henceforth not 
to send any more troops across the Rhine, nor 
make war upon the iEduans, or injure them 
in any way. If he complied with these terms, 
all would be well. If he did not, Caesar said 
that he should not himself disregard the just 
complaints of his allies. 

Ariovistus had no fear of Caesar. Caesar 
had, in fact, thus far, not begun to acquire the 
military renown to which he afterward attained. 
Ariovistus had, therefore, no particular cause 
to dread his power. He sent him back word 
that he did not understand why Caesar should 
interfere between him and his conquered prov- 
ince. ''The iEduans," sa^'d he, ' 'tried the 
fortune of war with me, and were overcome; 
and they must abide the issue. The Eomans 
manage their conquered provinces as they 
judge proper, without holding themselves ac- 
countable to any one. I shall do the same 
with mine. All that I can say is, that so long 
as the iEduans submit peaceably to my au- 
thority, and pay their tribute, I shall not mo- 
lest them ; as to your threat that you shall not 
disregard their comj^laints, you must know 
that no one has ever made war upon me but to 



68 JULIUS CESAR. 

his own destruction, and, if you wish to see 
how it will turn out in your case, you may 
make the experiment whenever you please.'* 

Both parties immediately prepared for war. 
Ariovistus, instead of waiting to be attacked, 
assembled his army, crossed the Ehine, and 
advanced into the territories from which Caesar 
had undertaken to exclude him. 

As Csesar, however, began to make his ar- 
rangements for putting his army in motion to 
meet his approaching enemy, there began to 
circulate throughout the camp such extraordi- 
nary stories of the terrible strength and cour- 
age of the German soldiery as to produce a 
very general panic. So great, at length, be- 
came the anxiety and alarm, that even the 
officers were wholly dejected and discouraged; 
and as for the men, they were on the very eve 
of mutiny. 

"When Caesar understood this state of things, 
he called an assembly of the troops, and made 
an address to them. He told them that he 
was astonished to learn to what an extent an 
unworthy despondency and fear bad taken pos- 
session of their minds, and how little confidence 
they reposed in him, their general. And then, 
after some further remarks about the duty of a 
soldier to be ready to go wherever his com- 
mander leads him, and presenting also some 
considerations in respect to the German troops 
with which they were going to contend, in 



THE CONQUEST OF GAUL. 69 

order to show them that they had no cause to 
fear, he ended by saying that he had not been 
fully decided as to the time of marching, but 
that now he had concluded to give orders for 
setting out the next morning at 3 o'clock, 
that he might learn, as soon as possible, who 
were too cowardly to follow him. He would 
go himself, he said, if he was attended by the 
tenth legion alone. He was sure that they 
would not shrink from any undertaking in 
which he led the way. 

The soldiers, moved partly by shame, partly 
by the decisive and commanding tone which 
their general assumed, and partly reassured by 
the courage and confidence which he seemed 
to feel, laid aside their fears, and vied with 
each other henceforth in energy and ardor. 
The armies approached each other. Ariovis- 
tus sent to Caesar, saying that now, if he 
wished it, he was ready for an interview. 
Caesar acceded to the suggestion, and the 
arrangements for a conference were made, 
each party, as usual in such cases, taking every 
precaution to guard against the treachery of 
the other. 

Between the two camps there was a rising 
ground, in the middle of an open plain, where 
it was decided that the conference should be 
held. Ariovistus proposed that neither party 
should bring any foot soldiers to the place of 
meeting, but cavalry alone; and that these 



70 JULIUS C^SAR. 

bodies of cavalry, brought by the respective 
generals, should remain at the foot of the emi- 
nence on either side, while Caesar and Ariovis- 
tus themselves, attended each by only ten fol- 
lowers on horseback, should ascend it. This 
plan was acceded to by Caesar, and a long con- 
ference was held in this way between the two 
generals, as they sat upon their horses, on the 
summit of the hill. 

The two generals, in their discussion, only 
repeated in substance what they had said in 
their embassages before, and made no progress 
toward coming to an understanding. At 
length Caesar closed the conference and with- 
drew. Some days afterward Ariovistus sent a 
request to Caesar, asking that he would appoint 
another interview, or else that he would depute 
one of his officers to proceed to Ariovistus' 
camp and receive a communication which he 
wished to make to him. Caesar concluded not 
to grant another interview, and he did not 
think it prudent to send any one of his princi- 
pal officers as an ambassador, for fear that he 
might be treacherously seized and held as a 
hostage. He accordingly sent an ordinary 
messenger, accompanied by one or two men. 
These men were all seized and put in irons as 
soon as they reached the camp of Ariovistus, 
and Caesar now prepared in earnest for giving 
his enemy battle. 

He proved himself as skillful and efficient in 



THE CONQUEST OF GAUL. 71 

arranging and managing the combat as he had 
been sagacious and adroit in the negotiations 
which preceded it. Several days were spent 
in maneuvers and movements, by which each 
party endeavored to gaia some advantage over 
the other in respect to their position in the ap- 
proaching struggle. When at length the combat 
came, Caesar and his legions were entirely and 
triumphantly successful. The Germans were 
put totally to flight. Their baggage and stores 
were all seized, and the troops themselves fled 
in dismay by all the roads which led back to 
the Ehine ; and there those who succeeded in 
escaping death from the Eomans, who pursued 
them all the way, embarked in boats and upon 
rafts, and returned to their homes. Ariovistus 
himself found a small boat, in which, with one 
or two followers, he succeeded in getting 
across the stream. 

As Caesar, at the head of a body of his 
troops, was pursuing the enemy in this their 
flight, he overtook one party who had a 
prisoner with them confined by iron. chains fas- 
tened to his limbs, and whom they were hurry- 
ing rapidly along. This prisoner proved to 
be the messenger that Caesar had sent to Ario- 
vistus' camp, and whom he had, as Caesar 
alleges, treacherously detained. Of course, he 
was overjoyed to be recaptured and set at 
liberty. The man said that three times they 
had drawn lota to see whetheip they should burn 



73 JULIUS CiESAR. 

him alive then, or reserve the pleasure for a 
future occasion, and that every time the lot 
had resulted in his favor. 

The consequence of this victory was, that 
Caesar's authority was established triumphantly 
over all that part of Gaul which he had thus 
freed from Ariovistus' sway. Other parts of 
the country, too, were pervaded by the fame 
of his exploits, and the people everywhere be- 
gan to consider what action it would be incum- 
bent on them to take, in respect to the new 
military power which had appeared so sud- 
denly among them. Some nations determined 
to submit without resistance, and to seek the 
conqiieror's alliance and protection. Others, 
more bold, or more confident of their strength, 
began to form combinations and to arrange 
plans for resisting him. But, whatever they 
did, the result in the end was the same. 
Caesar's ascendency was everywhere and always 
gaining ground. Of course, it is impossible 
in the compass of a single chapter, which is 
all that can be devoted to the subject in this 
volume, to give any regular narrative of the 
events of the eight years of Caesar's military 
career in Gaul. Marches, negotiations, battles, 
and victories mingled with and followed each 
other in a long succession, the particulars of 
which it would require a volume to detail, 
everything resulting most successfully for the 



THE CONQUEST OF GAUL. 73 

increase of Caesar's power and the extension of 
his fame. 

Caesar gives, in his narrative, very extraordi- 
nary accounts of the customs and modes of life 
of some of the jjeople that he encountered. 
There was one country, for example, in which 
all the lands were common, and the whole 
structure of society was based on the plan of 
forming the community into one great martial 
band. The nation was divided into a hundred 
cantons, each conkiining two thousand men 
capable of bearing arms. If these were all 
mustered into service together, they would 
form, of course, an army of two hundred thou- 
sand men. It was customary, however, to 
organize only one half of them into an army, 
while the rest remained at home to till the 
ground and tend the flocks and herds. These 
two great divisions interchanged their work 
every year, the soldiers becoming husband- 
men, and the husbandmen soldiers. Thus 
they all became equally inured to the hard- 
ships and dangers of the camp, and to the 
more continuous but safer labors of agricul- 
tural toil. Their fields were devoted to past- 
urage more than to tillage, for flocks and herds 
could be driven from place to place, and thus 
more easily preserved from the depredations of 
enemies than fields of grain. The children 
grew up almost perfectly wild from infancy, 
and hardened themselves by bathing iix cold 



74 JULIUS CiESAR. 

streams, wearing very little clothiDg, and mak- 
ing long hunting excursions among tbe moun- 
tains. The i)eople had abundance of excellent 
horses, which the young men were accustomed, 
from their earliest years, to ride without sad- 
dle or bridle, the horses being trained to obey 
implicitly every command. So admirably dis- 
ciplined were they, that sometimes, in battle, 
the mounted men would leap from their horses 
and advance as foot soldiers to aid the other 
infantry, leaving the horses to stand until they 
returned. The horses would not move from 
the spot; the men, when the object for which 
they had dismounted was accomplished, would 
come back, spring to their seats again, and 
once more become a squadron of cavalry. 

Although Caesar was very energetic and de- 
cided in the government of his army, he was 
extremely popular with his soldiers in all 
these campaigns. He exposed his men, of 
course, to a great many privations and hard- 
ships, but then he evinced, in many cases, such 
a willingness to bear his share of them, that 
the men were very little inclined to complain. 
He moved at the head of the column when his 
troops were advancing on a march, generally 
on horseback, but often on foot; and Suetonius 
says that he used to go bareheaded on such 
occasions, whatever was the state of the 
weather, though it is difficult to see what the 
motive of this apparently needless exposure 



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THE CONQUEST OF GAUL. 75 

could be, unless it was for effect, on some 
special or unusual occasion. Caesar would ford 
or swim rivers with his men whenever there 
was no other mode of transit, sometimes sup- 
ported, it was said, by bags inflated with air, 
and placed under his arms. At one time he 
built a bridge across the Ehioe, to enable his 
army to cross that river. This bridge was 
built with piles driven down into the sand, 
which supported a flooring of timbers. Csesar, 
considering it quite an exploit thus to bridge 
the Rhine, wrote a minute account of the man- 
ner in which the work was constructed, and 
the description is almost exactly in accordance 
with the principles and usages of modern car- 
pentry. 

After the countries which were the scene of 
these conquests were pretty well subdued, 
Caesar established on some of the great routes 
of travel a system of posts, that is, he 
stationed supplies of horses at intervals of 
from ten to twenty miles along the wa^^, so that 
he himself, or the officers of his army, or any 
couriers whom he might have occasion to send 
with dispatches, could travel with great speed 
by finding a fresh horse ready at every stage. 
By this means he sometimes traveled himself a 
hundred miles in a day. This system, thus 
adopted for military purposes in Caesar's 
time, has been continued in almost all coun- 
tries of Europe to the present age, and is ap- 



76 JULIUS CiESAR. 

plied to traveling in carriages as well as on 
horseback. A family party purchase a car- 
riage, and arranging within it all the comforts 
and conveniences which they will require on 
the journey, they set out, taking these post 
horses, fresh at each village, to draw them to 
the next. Thus they can go at any rate of 
speed which they desire, instead of being 
limited in their movements by the powers of 
endurance of one set of animals, as they would 
be compelled to be if they were to travel with 
their own. This plan has, for some reason, 
never been introduced into America, and it is 
now probable that it never will be, as the rail- 
way system will doubtless supersede it. 

One of the most remarkable of the enter- 
prises which Caesar undertook during the 
period of these campaigns was his excursion 
into Great Britain. The real motive of this 
expedition was probably a love of romantic ad- 
venture, and a desire to secure for himself at 
Eome the glory of having penetrated into re- 
mote regions which lioman armies had never 
reached before. The pretext, however, which 
he made to justify his invading the territories 
of the Britons was, that the people of the 
island were accustomed to come across the. 
channel and aid the Gauls in their wars. 

In forming his arrangements for going into 
England, the first thing was to obtain all the 
information which was accessible in Gaul in 



THE CONQUEST OF GAUL. 77 

respect to the country. There were, in those 
da)'&, great numbers of traveling merchants, 
who went from one nation to another to pur- 
chase and sell, taking with them such goods 
as were most easy of transportation. These 
merchants, of course, were generally possessed 
of a great deal of information in respect to the 
countries which they had visited, and Caesar 
called together as many of them as he could 
find, when he had reached the northern shores 
of France, to inquire about the modes of cross- 
ing the channel, the harbors on the English 
side, the geographical conformation of the 
country, and the military resources of the 
people. He found, however, that the mer- 
chants could give him very little information. 
They knew that Britain was an island, but 
they did not know its extent or its boundaries ; 
and they could tell him very little of the char- 
acter or customs of the people. They said 
that they had only been accustomed to land 
upon the southern shore, and to transact all 
their business there, without penetrating at all 
into the interior of the country. 

Caesar then, who, though undaunted and 
bold in emergencies requiring prompt and de- 
cisive action, was extremely cautious and wary 
at all other times, fitted up a single ship, and, 
putting one of his officers on board with a 
proper crew, directed him to cross the channel 
to the English coast, and then to cruise along 



78 JULIUS C^SAR. 

the land for some miles in each direction, to 
observe where were the best harbors and places 
for landing, and to examine generally the ap- 
pearance of the shore. This vessel was a gal- 
ley, manned with numerous oarsmen, well 
selected and strong, so that it could retreat 
with great speed from any sudden appearance 
of danger. The name of the officer who had 
the command of it was Volusenus. Volusenus 
set sail, the army watching his vessel with great 
interest as it moved slowly away from the 
shore. He was gone five days, and then re- 
turned, bringing Caesar an account of his dis- 
coveries. 

In the meantime, Caesar had collected a large 
number of sailing vessels from the whole line 
of the French shore, by means of which he 
Ijroposed to transport his army across the 
channel. He had two legions to take into 
Britain, the remainder of his forces having 
been stationed as garrisons in various parts of 
Gaul. It was necessary, too, to leave a con- 
siderable force at his post of debarkation, in 
order to secure a safe retreat in case of any 
disaster on the British side. The number of 
transport ships provided for the foot soldiers 
which were to be taken over was eighty. 
There were, besides these, eighteen more, 
which were appointed to convey a squadron of 
horse. This cavalry force was to embark at a 
separate port, about eighty miles distant from 
the one from which the infantry were to sail. 



THE CONQUEST OF GAUL. 79 

At length a suitable day for the embarka- 
tion arrived ; the troops were put on board the 
ships, and orders were given to sail. The day 
could not be fixed beforehand, as the time for 
attempting to make the passage must neces- 
sarily depend upon the state of the wind and 
weather. Accordingly, when the favorable 
opportunity arrived, and the main body of the 
army began to embark, it took some time to 
send the orders to the port where the cavalry 
had rendezvoused; and there were, besides, 
other causes of delay which occurred to detain 
this corps, so that it turned out, as we shall 
presently see, that the foot soldiers had to act 
alone in the first attempt at landing on the 
British shore. 

It was 1 o'clock in the morning when the 
fleet set sail. The Britons had, in the mean- 
time, obtained intelligence of Caesar's threat- 
ened invasion, and they had assembled in great 
force, with troops, and horsemen, and car- 
riages of war, and were all ready to guard the 
shore. The coast, at the point where Caesar 
was approaching, consists of a line of chalky 
cliffs, with valley-like openings here and there 
between them, communicating with the shore, 
and sometimes narrow beaches below. When 
the Koman fleet approached the land, Caesar 
found the cliffs everywhere lined with troops 
of Britons, and every accessible point below 
carefully guarded It was now about 10 



80 JULIUS CiESAR. 

o'clock in the morning, and Cffsar, finding the 
prospect so unfavorable in respect to the prac- 
ticability of effecting a landing here, brought 
his fleet to anchor near the shore, but far 
enough from it to be safe from the missiles of 
the enemy. 

Here he remaind for several hours, to give 
time for all the vessels to join him. Some of 
them had been delayed in the embarkation, or 
had made slower progress than the rest in 
crossing the channel. He called a council, 
too, of the superior officers of the army on 
board his own galley, and explained to them 
the plan which he now adopted for the land- 
ing. About 3 o'clock in the afternoon he 
sent these officers back to their respective ships, 
and gave orders to make sail along the shore. 
The anchors were raised and the fleet moved 
on, borne by the united impulse of the wind 
and the tide. The Britons, perceiving this 
movement, put themselves in motion on the 
land, following the motions of the fleet so as 
to be ready to meet their enemy wherever they 
might ultimately undertake to land. Their 
horsemen and carriages went on in advance, and 
the foot soldiers followed, all pressing eagerly 
forward to keep up with the motion of the 
fleet, and to prevent Caesar's army from having 
time to land before they should arrive at the 
spot and be ready to oppose them. 

The fleet moved on until, at length, after 



THE CONQUEST OF GAUL. 81 

sailing about eight miles, they came to a part 
of the coast where there was a tract of com- 
paratively level ground, which seemed to be 
easily accessible from the shore. Here Csesar 
determined to attempt to land ; and drawing up 
his vessel, accordingly, as near as possible to 
the beach, he ordered the men to leap over 
into the water, with their weapons in their 
hands. The Britons were all here to oppose 
them, and a dreadful struggle ensued, the com- 
batants dying the waters with their blood as 
they fought, half-submerged in the surf which 
rolled in upon the sand. Some galleys rowed 
up at the same time near to the shore, and the 
men on board of them attacked the Britons 
from the decks by the darts and arrows which 
they shot to the land. Caesar at last i^revailed; 
the Britons were driven away, and the Roman 
army established themselves in quiet posses- 
sion of the shore. 

Caesar had afterward a great variety of ad- 
ventures, and many narrow escax)es from im- 
minent dangers in Britain, and, though he 
gained considerable glory by thus penetrating 
into such remote and unknown regions, there 
was very little else to be acquired. The glory, 
however, was itself of great value to CsesaXo 
During the whole period of his campaigns in 
Gaul, Rome, and all Italy in fact, had been 
filled with the fame of his exploits, and the 
expedition into Britain added not a little to 



82 JULIUS CESAR. 

his renown. The populace of the city were 
greatly gratified to hear of the continued suc- 
cess of their former favorite. They decreed 
to him triumph after triumph, and were pre- 
pared to welcome him, whenever he should re- 
turn, with greater honors and more extended 
and higher powers than he had ever enjoyed 
before. 

Caesar's exploits in these campaigns were, in- 
fact, in a military point of view, of the most 
magnificent character. Plutarch, in summing 
up the results of them, says that he took eight 
hundred cities, conquered three hundred 
nations, fought pitched battles at separate 
times with three millions of men, took one 
million of prisoners, and killed another mil- 
lion on the field. What a vast work of de- 
struction was this for a man to spend eight 
years of his life in performing upon his fellow- 
creatures, merely to gratify his insane love of 
dominion. 




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POMPEY. 83 



CHAPTER V- 

POMPEY. 

While Csesar had thus been rising to so 
high an elevation, there was another Homan 
general who had been, for nearly the same 
period, engaged, in various other quarters of 
the world, in acquiring, by very similar means, 
an almost equal renown. This general was 
Pompey. He became, in the end, Caesar's great 
and formidable rival. In order that the 
reader may understand clearly the nature of 
the great contest which sprung up at last be- 
tween these heroes, we must now go back and 
relate some of the particulars of Pompey 's in- 
dividual history down to the time of the com- 
pletion of Caesar's conquests in Gaul. 

Pompey was a few years older than Caesar, 
having been born in 106 B.C. His father 
was a Eoman general, and the young Pomi)ey 
was brought up in camp. He was a young 
man of very handsome figure and countenance, 
and of very agreeable manners. His hair 
curled slightly over his forehead, and he had a 
dark and intelligent eye, full of vivacity and 
meaning. There was, besides, in the expres- 



84 JULIUS C^SAR. 

sion of his face, and in his air and address, a 
certain indescribable charm, which prepos- 
sessed every one strongly in his favor, and 
gave him, from his earliest years, a great per- 
sonal ascendency over all who knew him. 

Notwithstanding this popularity, however, 
Pompey did not escape, even in very early life, 
incurring his share of the dangers which 
seemed to environ the path of every public 
man in those distracted times. It will be recol- 
lected that, in the contests between Marius and 
Sylla, Caesar had joined the Marian faction. 
Pompey 's father, on the other hand, had con- 
nected himself with that of Sylla. At one 
time, in the midst of these wars, when Pompey 
was very young, a conspiracy was formed to 
assassinate his father by burning him in his 
tent, and Pompey 's comrade, named Teren- 
tius, who slept in the same tent with him, had 
been bribed to kill Pompey himself at the 
same time, by stabbing him in his bed. Pom- 
pey contrived to discover this plan, but instead 
of being at all discomposed by it, he made 
arrangements for a guard about his father's 
tent, and then went to supper as usual with 
Terentius, conversing with him all the time in 
even a more free and friendly manner than 
usual. That night he arranged his bed so as 
to make it appear as if he was in it, and then 
stole away. When the appointed hour arrived 
Terentius came into the tent, and, approaching 



POMPEY. 85 

the couch where he supposed Pompey was lying 
asleep, stabbed it again and again, piercing 
the coverlets in many places, but doing no 
harm, of course, to his intended victim. 

In the course of the wars between Marius 
and SyJla, Pompey passed through a great 
variety of scenes, and met with many extraor- 
dinary adventures and narrow escapes, which, 
however, cannot be here particularly detailed. 
His father, who was as much hated by his sol- 
diers as the son was beloved, was at last, one 
day, struck by lightning in his tent. The 
soldiers were inspired with such a hatred for 
his memory, in consequence, probably, of the 
cruelties and oppressions which they had 
suffered from him, that they would not allow 
his body to be honored with the ordinary 
funeral obsequies. They pulled it off from the 
bier on which it was to have been borne to the 
funeral pile, and dragged it ignominiously 
away. Pompey 's father was accused, too, 
after his death, of having converted some 
public moneys which had been committed to 
his charge to his own use, and Pompey ap- 
peared in the Eoman Forum as an advocate to 
defend him from the charge and to vindicate 
his memory. He was very successful in this 
defense. All who heard it were, in the first 
instance, very deeply interested in favor of the 
speaker, on account of his extreme youth and 
his personal beauty j and as ho proceeded with 



86 JULIUS CiESAR. 

his plea he argued with so much eloquence 
and power as to win universal applause. One 
of the chief officers of the government in the 
city was so much pleased with his appearance, 
and with the promise of future greatness which 
the circumstances indicated that he offered 
him his daughter in marriage. Pomi)ey ac- 
cepted the offer and married the lady. Her 
name was Antistia. 

Pompej^ rose rapidly to higher and higher 
degrees of distinction, until he obtained the 
command of an army, which he had, in fact, 
in a great measure raised and organized him- 
self, and he fought at the head of it with great 
energy and succeess against the enemies of 
Sylla. At length he was hemmed in on the 
eastern coast of Italy by three separate armies, 
which were gradually advancing against him 
with a certainty, as they thought, of effecting 
his destruction. Sylla, hearing of Pompey's 
danger, made great efforts to march to his 
rescue. Before he reached the place, however, 
Pompey had met and defeated one after another 
of the armies of his enemies, so that, when 
Sylla approached, Pompey marched out to 
meet him with his army drawn up in magnifi- 
cent array, trumpets sounding and banners fly- 
ing, and with large bodies of disarmed troops, 
the prisoners that he had taken, in the rear. 
Sylla was struck with surprise and admiration; 
and when Pompey saluted him with the title 



POMPEY. 87 

of ImperatoTy which was the highest title known 
to the Roman constitution, and the one which 
Sylla's lofty rank and unbounded power might 
properly claim, Sylla returned the compliment 
by conferring this great mark of distinction on 
him. 

Pompey proceeded to Eome, and the fame 
of his exploits, the singular fascination of his 
person and manners, and the great favor with 
Sylla that he enjoyed, raised him to a high 
degree of distinction. He was not, however, 
elated with the pride and vanity which so 
young a man would be naturally expected to 
exhibit under such circumstances. He was, 
on the contrary, modest and unassuming and he 
acted in all respects in such a manner as to 
gain the approbation and the kind regard of 
all who knew him, as well as to excite their 
applause. There was an old general at this 
time in Gaul — for all these events took place 
long before the time of Caesar's campaigns in 
that country, and, in fact, before the com- 
mencement of his successful career in Eome — 
whose name was Metellus, and who, either on 
account of his advancing age, or for some other 
reason, was very inefficient and unsuccessful in 
his government. Sylla proposed to supersede 
him by sending Pompey to take his place. 
Pompey replied that it was not right to take 
the command from a man who was so much his 
superior in ago and character, but that, if Me- 



88 JULIUS CiESAR. 

tellus wished for his assistance in the manage- 
ment of his command, he would proceed to 
Gaul and render him every service in his 
power. When this answer was reported to 
Metellus, he wrote to Pompey to come. Pom- 
pey accordingly went to Gaul, where he ob- 
tained new victories, and gained new and 
higher honors than before. 

These, and various anecdotes which the 
ancient historians relate, would lead us to 
form very favorable ideas of Pompey 's char- 
acter. Some other circumstances, however, 
which occurred seem to furnish different in- 
dications. For example, on his return to Eome, 
some time after the events above related, Sylla, 
whose estimation of Pompey 's character and of 
the importance of his services, seemed con- 
tinually to increase, wished to connect him 
with his own family by marriage. He accord- 
ingly proposed that Pompey should divorce 
his wife Antistia, and marry .Emilia, the 
daughter-in-law of Sylla. Emilia was already 
the wife of another man, from whom she would 
have to be taken away to make her the wife of 
Pompey. This, however, does not seem to have 
been thought a very serious difficulty in the 
way of the arrangement. Pompey 's wife was 
put away, and the wife of another man taken 
in her place. Such a deed was a gross viola- 
tion not merely of revealed and written law, 
but of those universal instincts of right and 



POMPEY. S9 

wrong which are implanted indelibly in all 
human hearts. It ended, as might have been 
expected, most disastrously. Antistia was 
plunged, of course, into the deepest distress. 
Her father had recently lost his life on account 
of his supposed attachment to Pompey. Her 
mother killed herself in the anguish and de- 
spair produced by the misfortunes of her 
family ; and Emilia, the new wife, died sud- 
denly, on the occasion of the birth of a child, 
a very short time after her marriage with Pom- 
pey. 

These domestic troubles did not, however, 
interpose any serious obstacle to Pompey 's 
progress in his career of greatness and glory. 
Sylla sent him on one great enterprise after 
another, in ail of which Pompey acquitted 
himself in an admirable manner. Among his 
other campaigns, he served for some time in 
Africa with great success. He returned in due 
time from this expedition, loaded with mili- 
tary honors. His soldiers had become so 
much attached to him that there was almost a 
mutiny in the army when he was ordered 
home. They were determined to submit to no 
authority but that of Pompey. Pompey at 
length succeeded, by great efforts, in subduing 
this spirit, and bringing back the army to 
their duty. A false account of the affair, 
however, went to Rome. It was reported to 
Sylla that there was a revolt in the army of 



90 JULIUS CiESAR. 

Africa, headed by Pompey himself, who was 
determined not to resign his command. Sylla 
was at first very indignant that his authority 
should be despised and his power braved, as 
he expressed it, by ** such a boy;** for Pom- 
pey was still, at this time, very young. When, 
however, he learned the truth, he conceived a 
higher admiration for the young general than 
ever. He went out to meet him as he ap- 
proached the city, and, in accosting him he 
called him Pompey the Great. Pompey has 
continued to bear the title thus given him to 
the present day. Pompey began, it seems, 
now to experience, in some degree, the usual 
effects produced upon the human heart by celeb- 
rity and praise. He demanded a triumph. 
A triumph was a great and splendid ceremony, 
by which victorious generals, who were of ad- 
vanced age and high civil or military rank, 
were received into tbecity when returning from 
any specially glorious campaign. There was 
a grand procession formed on these occasions, 
in which various emblems and insignia, and 
trophies of victory, and captives taken by the 
conqueror, were displayed. This great proces- 
sion entered the city with bands of music ac- 
companying it, and flags and banners flying, 
passing under triumphal arches erected along 
the way. Triumphs were usuall}^ decreed by 
a vote of the senate, in cases where they were 
deserved; but, in this case, Sylla*s power as 



POMPEV. 91 

dictator was supreme, and Pompey's demand 
for a triumph seems to have been addressed 
accordingly to him. 

Sylla refused it. Pompey's performances 
in the African campaign had been, he admitted, 
very creditable to him, but he had neither the 
age nor the rank to justify the granting him a 
triumph. To bestow such an honor upon one 
so young and in such a station would only 
bring the honor itself, he said, into disrepute, 
and degrade, also, his dictatorship for suffer- 
ing it. 

To this Pompey replied, speaking, however, 
in an undertone to those around him in the as- 
sembly, that Sylla need not fear that the 
triumph would be unpopular, for people were 
much more disposed to worship a rising than 
a setting sun. Sylla did not hear this remark, 
but, perceiving by the countenances of the by- 
standers that Pompey had said something 
which seemed to please them, he asked what 
it was. When the remark was repeated to 
him, he seemed pleased himself with its just- 
ness or with its wit, and said, **Let him have 
his triumph.'* 

The arrangements were accordingly made, 
Pompey ordering everything necessary to be 
prepared for a most magnificent procession. 
He learned that some persons in the city, en- 
vious at his early renown, were displeased with 
his triumph ; this only awakened in him a de- 



93 JULIUS CiESAR. 

termination to make it still more splendid and 
imposing. He had brought some elephants 
with him from Africa, and he formed a plan 
for having the car in which he was to ride in 
the procession drawn by four of these huge 
beasts as it entered the city ; but, on measur- 
ing the gate, it was found not wide enough to 
admit such a team, and the plan was accord- 
ingly abandoned. The conqueror's car was 
drawn by horses in the usual manner, and the 
elephants followed singly, with the other tro- 
phies, to grace the train. 

Pompey remained some time after this in 
Kome, sustaining from time to time various 
offices of dignity and honor. His services 
were often called for to plead causes in the 
Forum, and he performed this duty, whenever 
he undertook it, with great success. He, how- 
ever, seemed generally inclined to retire some- 
what from intimate intercourse with the mass 
of the community, knowing very well that if he 
was engaged often in the discussion of com- 
mon questions with ordinary men, he should 
soon descend in public estimation from the 
high position to which his military renown 
had raised him. He accordingly accustomed 
himself to appear but little in public, and, 
when he did so appear, he was generally ac- 
companied by a large retinue of armed attend- 
ants, at the head of which he moved about the 
city in great state, more like a victorious gen- 



POMPEY. 93 

eral in a conquered province than like a peace- 
ful citizen exercising ordinary official func- 
tions in a community governed by law. This 
was a very sagacious course, so far as con- 
cerned the attainment of the great objects of 
future ambition. Pompey knew very well that 
occasions would probably arise in which he 
could act far more effectually for the promo- 
tion of his own greatness and fame than by 
mingling in the ordinary municipal contests of 
the city. 

At length, in fact, an occasion came. In the 
year B. C. 67, which was about the time that 
Caesar commenced his successful career in ris- 
ing to public office in Kome, as is described in 
the third chapter of this volume, the Cilician 
pirates, of whose desperate character and bold 
exploits something has already been said, had 
become so powerful, and were increasing so 
rapidly in the extent of their depredations, that 
the Roman people felt compelled to adopt some 
very vigorous measures for suppressing them. 
The pirates had increased in numbers during 
the wars between Marius and Sylla in a very 
alarming degree. They had built, equipped, 
and organized whole fleets. They had various 
fortresses, arsenals, ports, and watch-towers 
all along the coasts of the Mediterranean. 
They had also extensive warehouses, built in 
secure and secluded places, where they stored 
their plunder. Their fleets were well manned, 



04 JULIUS CiESAR. 

and provided with skillful pilots, and with 
ample supplies of every kind ; and they were 
so well constructed, both for speed and safety, 
that no other ships could be made to surpass 
them. Many of them, too, w^ere adorned and 
decorated in the most sumptuous manner, with 
gilded sterns, puri^le awnings, and silver- 
mounted oars. The number of their galleys 
was said to be a thousand. "With this force 
they made themselves almost complete masters 
of the sea. They attacked not onlj' separate 
ships, but whole fleets of merchantmen sailing 
under convoy ; and they increased the diffi- 
culty and expense of bringing grain to Eome 
so much, by intercepting the supplies, as very 
materially to enhance the price and to threaten 
a scarcity. They made themselves masters of 
many islands and of various maritime towns 
along the coast, until they had four hundred 
ports and cities in their possession. In fact, 
they had gone so far toward forming them- 
selves into a regular maritime power, under a 
systematic and legitimate government, that 
very respectable young men from other coun- 
tries began to enter their service, as one open- 
ing honorable avenues to wealth and fame. 

Under these circumstances, it w^as obvious 
that something decisive must be done. A 
friend of Pompey's brought forward a plan for 
commissioning some one, he did not say 
whom, but every one understood that Pompey 



POMPEY. 95 

was intended, to be sent forth against the 
pirates, with extraordinary powers, such as 
should be amply suflScient to enable him to 
bring their dominion to an end. He was to 
have supreme command upon the sea, and also 
upon the land for fifty miles from the shore. 
He was, moreover, to be empowered to raise 
as large a force, both of ships and men, as he 
should think required, and to draw from the 
treasury whatever funds were necessary to de- 
fray tbe enormous expenses which so vast an 
undertaking would involve. If the law should 
pass creating this ofiice, and a person be de- 
ignated to fill it, it is plain that such a com- 
mander would be clothed with enormous 
powers ; but then he would incur, on the other 
hand, a vast and commensurate responsibility, 
as the Eoman poeple would hold him rigidly 
accountable for the full and perfect accomplish- 
ment of the work he undertook, after they had 
thus surrendered every possible power neces- 
sary to accomplish it so unconditionally into 
his hands. 

There was a great deal of maneuvering, man- 
agement, and debate on the one hand to effect 
the passage of this law, and, on the other, to 
defeat it. Caesar, who, though not so promi- 
nent yet as Pompey, was now rising rapidly to 
influence and power, was in favor of the meas- 
ure, because, as is said, he perceived that the 
people were pleased with it. It was at length 



9f> JULIUS C^SAR. 

adopted. Pompey was then designated to fill 
the office which the law created. He accepted 
the trust, and began to prepare for the vast 
undertaking. The price of grain fell imrue- 
diately in Kome, as soon as the appointment 
of Pompey was made known, as the merchants, 
who had large supplies in the granaries there, 
were now eager to sell, even at a reduction, 
feeling confident that Pompey 's measures would 
result in bringing in abundant supplies. The 
people, surprised at this sudden relaxation of 
the pressure of their burdens, said that the 
very name of Pompey had put an end to the 
war. 

They were not mistaken in their anticipa- 
tions of Pompey 's success. He freed the 
Mediterranean from pirates in three months, 
by one systematic and simple operation, which 
affords one of the most striking examples of the 
power of united and organized effort, planned 
and conducted by one single master mind, 
which the history of ancient or modern times 
has recorded. The manner in which this 
work was effected was this : 

Pompey raised and equipped a vast number 
of galleys, and divided them into separate 
fleets, putting each one under the command of 
a lieutenant. He then divided the Mediterran- 
ean Sea into thirteen districts, and appointed 
a lieutenant and his fleet for each one of them 
as a guard. After sending these detachments 



POMPEY. 97 

forth to their respective stations, he set out 
from the city himself to take charge of the 
operatioDS which he was to conduct in person. 
The people followed him, as he went to the 
place where he was to embark, in great crowds, 
and with long and loud acclamations. 

Beginning at the Straits of Gibraltar, Pom- 
pey cruised with a powerful fleet toward the 
east, driving the pirates before him, the lieu- 
tenants, who were stationed along the coast, 
being on the alert to prevent them from finding 
any places of retreat or refuge. Some of the 
pirates' ships were surrounded and taken. 
Others fled, and were followed by Pompey's 
ships until they had passed beyond the coasts 
of Sicily, and the seas between the Italian and 
African shores. The communication was now 
open again to the grain-growing countries 
south of Eome, and large supplies of food 
were immediately poured into the city. The 
whole population was, of course, filled with 
exultation and joy at receiving such welcome 
proofs that Pompey was successfully accom- 
plishing the work they had assigned him. 

The Italian peninsula and the island of 
Sicily, which are, in fact, a projection from 
the northern shores of the Mediterranean, with 
a salient angle of the coast nearly opposite to 
them on the African side, form a sort of strait 
which divides this great sea into two separate 
bodies of water, and the pirates were now driven 



98 JULIUS C^SAR. 

entirely out of the western division. Pompey 
sent his principal fleet after them, with orders 
to pass around the island of Sicily and the 
southern part of Italy to Brundusium, which 
was the great port on the western side of Italy. 
He himself was to cross the peninsula by land, 
taking Kome in his way, and afterward to join 
the fleet at Brundusium. The pirates, in the 
meantime, so far as they had escaped Pom- 
pey 's cruisers, had retreated to the seas in the 
neighborhood of Cilicia, and were concentrat- 
ing their forces there in preparation for the 
final struggle. 

Pompey was received at Kome with the ut- 
most enthusiasm. The people came out in 
throngs to meet him as he approached the city, 
and welcomed him with loud acclamations. 
He did not, however, remain in the city to en- 
joy these honors. He procured, as soon as 
possible, what was necessary for tho further 
prosecution of his work, and went on. He 
found his fleet at Brundusium, and, imme- 
diately embarking, he put to sea. 

Pompey went on to the completion of his 
work with the same vigor and decision which 
he had displayed in the commencement of it. 
Some of the pirates, finding themselves hemmed 
in within narrower and narrower limits, gave 
up the contest, and came and surrendered. 
Pompey, instead of punishing them severely 
for their crimes, treated them, and their wives 



POMPEY. 99 

and childreD, who fell likewise into his power, 
with great humanity. This induced many 
others to follow their example, so that the 
number that remained resisting to the end was 
greatly reduced. There were, however, after 
all these submissions, a body of stern and in- 
domitable desperadoes left, who were incapable 
of yielding. These retreated, with all the 
forces which they could retain, to their strong- 
holds on the Cilician shores, sending their 
wives and children back to still securer retreats 
among the fastnesses of the mountains. 

Pompey followed them, hemming them in 
with the squadrons of armed galleys which he 
brought up around them, thus cutting off from 
them all possibility of escape. Here, at 
length, a great final battle was fought, and the 
dominion of the pirates was ended forever. 
Pompey destroyed their ships, dismantled 
their fortifications, restored the harbors and 
towns which they had seized to their rightful 
owners, and sent the pirates themselves, with 
their wives and children, far into the interior 
of the country, and established them as agri- 
culturists and herdsmen there, in a territory 
which he set apart for the purpose, where they 
might live in peace on the fruits of their own 
industry without the possibility of again dis- 
turbing the commerce of the seas. 

Instead of returning to Rome after these ex- 
ploits, Pompey obtained new powers from the 



100 JULIUS C^SAR. 

governmeDt of the city, and pushed his way 
into Asia Minor, where he remained several 
years, pursuing a similar career of conquest to 
that of Caesar in Gaul. At length he returned 
to Home, his entrance into the city being sig- 
nalized by a most magnificent triumph. The 
procession for displaying the trophies, the 
captives, and the other emblems of victory, and 
for conveying the vast accumulation of treas- 
ures and spoils, was two days in passing into 
the city ; and enough was left after all for 
another triumph. Pompey was, in a word, on 
the very summit of human grandeur and re- 
nown. 

He found, however, an old enemy and rival 
at Ecme. This was Crassus, who had been 
Pompey 's opponent in earlier times, and who 
now renewed his hostility. In the contest that 
ensued, Pompey relied on his renown, Crassus 
on his wealth. Pompey attempted to please 
the people by combats of lions and of elephants 
which he had brought home from his foreign 
campaigns; Crassus courted their favor by 
distributing corn among them, and inviting 
them to public feasts on great occasions. He 
spread for them, at one time, it was said, ten 
thousand tables. All Eome was filled with the 
feuds of these great political foes. It was at 
this time that Caesar returned from Spain and 
had the adroitness, as has already been ex- 
plained, to extinguish these feuds, and recon- 



POMPEY. 101 

cile these apparently implacable foes. He 
united them together, and joined them with 
himself in a triple league, which is celebrated 
in Eoman history as the first triumvirate. 
The rivalry, however, of these great aspirants 
for power was only suppressed and concealed, 
without being at all weakened or changed. 
The death of Crassus soon removed him from 
the stage. Caesar and Pompey continued after- 
ward, for some time, an ostensible alliance. 
Caesar attempted to strengthen this bond by 
giving Pompey his daughter Julia for his wife. 
Julia, though so young — even her father was 
six years younger than Pompey — was devotedly 
attached to her husband, and he was equally 
fond of her. She formed, in fact, a strong 
bond of union between the two freat conquer- 
ors as long as she lived. One day, however, 
there was a riot at an election, and men were 
killed so near to Pompey that his robe was 
covered with blood. He changed it; the serv- 
ants carried home the bloody garment which 
he had taken off, and Julia was so terrified at 
the sight, thinking that her husband had been 
killed, that she fainted, and her constitution 
suffered very severely by the shock. She 
lived some time afterward, but finally died 
under circumstances which indicate that this 
occurrence was the cause. Pompey and Caesar 
now soon became open enemies. The ambi- 
tious aspirations which each of them cherished 



102 JULIUS CESAR. 

were so vast that the world was not wide 
enough for them both to be satisfied. They 
had assisted each other up the ascent which 
they had been so many years in climbing, but 
now they had reached very near to the summit, 
and the question was to be decided which of 
the two should have his station there. 



CROSSING THE RUBICON. lOb 



CHAPTEE VL 

CROSSING THE RUBICON. 

There was a little stream in ancient times, 
in the north of Italy, which flowed westward 
into the Adriatic Sea, called the Eubicon. 
This stream has been immortalized by the 
transactions which we are now about to de- 
scribe. 

The Rubicon was a very important bound- 
ary, and yet it was in itself so small and in- 
significant that it is now impossible to deter- 
mine which of two or three little brooks here 
running into the sea is entitled to its name and 
renown. In history the Rubicon is a grand, 
permanent, and conspicuous stream, gazed 
upon with continued interest by all mankind 
for nearly twenty centuries ; in nature it is an 
uncertain rivulet, for a long time doubtful and 
undetermined, and finally lost. 

The Rubicon originally derived its import- 
ance from the fact that it was the boundary 
between all that part of the north of Italy 
which is formed by the valley of the Po, one 
of the richest and most magnificent countries 



104 JULIUS C^SAR. 

of the world, and the more southern Koman 
territories. This country of the Po con- 
stituted what was in those days called the 
hither Gaul, and was a Koman province. It 
belonged now to Caesar's jurisdiction, as the 
commander in Gaul. All south of the Rubicon 
was territory reserved for the immediate juris- 
diction of the city. The Eomans, in order to 
protect themselves from any danger which 
might threaten their own liberties from the 
immense armies which they raised for the con- 
quest of foreign nations, had imposed on every 
side very strict limitations and restrictions in 
respect to the approach of these armies to the 
capital. The Rubicon was the limit on this 
northern side. Generals commanding in Gaul 
were never to pass it. To cross the Rubicon 
with an army on the way to Rome was rebel- 
lion and treason. Hence the Rubicon became, 
as it were, the visible sign and symbol of civil 
restriction to military' power. 

As Caesar found the time of his service in 
Gaul drawing toward a conclusion, he turned 
his thoughts more and more toward Rome, en- 
deavoring to strengthen his interest there by 
every means in his power, and to circumvent 
and thwart the designs of Pompey. He had 
agents and partisans in Rome who acted for 
him and in his name. He sent immense sums 
of money to these men, to be employed in such 
ways as would most tend to secure the favor of 



CROSSING THE RUBICON. 105 

the people. He ordered the Forum to be re- 
built with great magnificence. He arranged 
great celebrations, in which the people were 
entertained with an endless succession of 
games, spectacles, and public feasts. When 
his daughter Julia, Pompey's wife, died, he 
celebrated her funeral with indescribable 
splendor. He distributed corn in immense 
quantities among the people, and he sent a 
great many captives home, to be trained as 
gladiators, to fight in the theaters for their 
amusement. In many cases, too, where he 
found men of talents and influence among the 
populace, who had become involved in debt by 
their dissipations and extravagance, he paid 
their debts, and thus secured their influence on 
his side. Men were astounded at the magni- 
tude of these expenditures, and, while the 
multitude rejoiced thoughtlessly in the pleas- 
ures thus provided for them, the more reflect- 
ing and considerate trembled at the greatness 
of the power which was so rapidly rising to 
overshadow the land. 

It increased tluir anxiety to observe that 
Pompey was gaining the same kind of influ- 
ence and ascendency too. He had not the ad- 
vantage which Caesar enjoyed in the prodigious 
wealth obtained from the rich countries over 
which Caesar ruled, but he possessed, instead 
of it, the advantage of being all the time at 
Borne, and of securing, by his character and 



106 JULIUS CiESAR. 

Action there, a very wide personal popularity 
and influence. Pompey was, in fact, the idol 
of the people. At one time, when he was ab- 
sent from Rome, at Naples, he was taken sick. 
After being for some days in considerable 
danger, the crisis passed favorably, and he 
recovered. Some of the people of Naples pro- 
posed a public thanksgiving to the gods, to 
celebrate his restoration to health. The plan 
was adopted by acclamation, and the example, 
thus set, extended from city to city, until it 
had spread throughout Italy, and the whole 
country was filled with the processions, games, 
shows, and celebrations, which were instituted 
everywhere in honor of the event. And when 
Pompey returned from Naples to Eome, the 
towns on the way could not afford room for the 
crowds that came forth to meet him. The high 
roads, the villages, the ports, says Plutarch, 
were filled with sacrifices and entertainments. 
Many received him with garlands on their 
heads and torches in their hands, and, as they 
conducted him along, strewed the way with 
flowers. 

In fact, Pompey considered himself as stand- 
ing far above Caesar in fame and power, and 
this general burst of enthusiasm and applause, 
educed by his recovery from sickness, con- 
firmed him in this idea. He felt no solici- 
tude, he said, in respect to Csesar. He should 
take no special precautions against any hostile 



CROSSING THE RUBICON. 107 

designs which he might entertain on his return 
from Gaul. It was he himself, he said, that 
had raised Caesar up to whatever of elevation 
he had attained, and he could put him down 
even more easily than he had exalted him. 

In the meantime, the period was drawing 
near in which Caesar's command in the prov- 
inces was to expire; and, anticipating the 
struggle with Pompey which was about to en- 
sue, he conducted several of his legions 
through the passes of the Alps, and advanced 
gradually, as he had a right to dO; across the 
country of the Po toward the Eubicon, revolv- 
ing in his capacious mind, as he came, the 
various plans by which he might hope to gain 
the ascendency over the power of his mighty 
rival, and make himself supreme. 

He concluded that it would be his wisest 
policy not to attempt to intimidate Pompey by 
great and open preparations for war, which 
might tend to arouse him to igorous measures 
of resistance, but rather to cover and conceal 
his designs, and thus throw his enemy off his 
guard. He advanced, therefore, toward the 
Eubicon with a small force. He established 
his headquarters at Eavenna, a city not far 
from the river, and employed himself in ob- 
jects of local interest there, in order to avert as 
much as possible the minds of the people from 
imagining that he was contemi:)lating any great 
design. Pompey sent to him to demand the 



108 JULIUS CiESAR. 

return of a certain legion which he had lent 
him from his own armj^ at a time when they 
were friends. Caesar complied with this de- 
mand without any hesitation, and sent the 
legion home. He sent with this legion, also, 
some other troops which were properly his 
own, thus evincing a degree of indifference in 
respect to the amount of the force retained 
under his command which seemed wholly in- 
consistent with the idea that he contemplated 
any resistance to the authority of the govern- 
ment at Eome. 

In the meantime, the struggle at Eome be- 
tween the partisans of Csesar and Pompey grew 
more and more violent and alarming. Caesar, 
through his friends in the city, demanded to 
be elected consul. The other side insisted that 
he must first, if that was his wish, resign the 
command of his army, come to Eome, and 
present himself as a candidate in the character 
of a private citizen. This the constitution of 
the state very properly required. In answer 
to this requisition, Caesar rejoined that, if 
Pompey would lay down his military com- 
mands, he would do so too ; if not, it was un- 
just to require it of him. The services, he 
added, which he had performed for his coun- 
try, demanded some recompense, which, 
moreover, they ought to be willing to award 
even if in order to do it it were necessary to 
relax somewhat in his favor the strictness of 



CROSSING THE RUBICON. 109 

ordinary rules. To a large part of the people 
of the city these demands of Caesar appeared 
reasonable. They were clamorous to have 
them allowed. The partisans of Pompey, with 
the stern and inflexible Cato at their head, 
deemed them wholly inadmissible and con- 
tended with the most determined violence 
against them. The whole city was filled with 
the excitement of this struggle, into which all 
the active and turbulent spirits of the capital 
plunged with the most furious zeal, while the 
more considerate and thoughtful of the popula- 
tion, remembering the days of Marius and 
Sylla, trembled at the impending danger. 
Pompey himself had no fear. He urged the 
Senate to resist to the utmost all of Caesar's 
claims, saying, if Caesar should be so presump- 
tuous as to attempt to march to Eome, he could 
raise troops enough by stamping with his foot 
to put him down. 

It would require a volume to contain a full 
account of the disputes and tumults the maneu- 
vers and debates, the votes and decrees, which 
marked the successive stages of this quarrel. 
Pompey himself was all the time without the 
city. He was in command of an army there, 
as no general, while in command, was allowed 
to come within the gates. At last an exciting 
debate was broken up in the Senate by one of 
the consuls rising to depart, saying that he 
would hear the subject discussed no longer. 



110 JULIUS CiESAR. 

The time had arrived for action, and he should 
send a commander, with an armed force, to de- 
fend the country from Caesar's threatened in- 
vasion. Caesar's leading friends, two tribunes 
of the people, disguised themselves as slaves, 
and fled to the north to join their master. 
The country was filled with commotion and 
panic. The Commonwealth had obviously 
more fear of Caesar than confidence in Pompey. 
The country was full of rumors in respect to 
Caesar's power, and the threatening attitude 
which he was assuming, while they who had 
insisted on resistance seemed, after all, to have 
provided very inadequate means with which to 
resist. A thousand plans were formed, and 
clamorously insisted upon by tlieir respective 
advocates, for averting the danger. This only 
added to the confusion, and the city became at 
length pervaded with a universal terror. 

"While this was the state of things at Eome, 
Caesar was quietly established at Eavenna, 
thirty or forty miles from the frontier. He 
was erecting a building for a fencing school 
there, and his mind seemed to be occupied very 
busily with the plans and models of the edifice 
which the architects had formed. Of course, 
in his intended march to Eome, his reliance 
was not to be so much on the force which he 
should take with him, as on the co-operation 
and support which he expected to find there. 
It was his policy, therefore, to move as quietly 



CROSSING THE RUBICON. Ill 

and privately as possible, and with as little 
display of violence, and to avoid everything 
which might indicate his intended march to 
any spies which might be around him, or to 
any other persons who might be disposed to 
report what they observed at Kome. Accord- 
ingly, on the very eve of his departure, he 
busied himself with his fencing school, and as- 
sumed with his officers and soldiers a careless 
and unconcerned air, which prevented any one 
from suspecting his design. 

In the course of the day he privately sent 
forward some cohorts to the southward, with 
orders for them to encamp on the banks of the 
Bubicon. When night came he sat down to 
supper as usual, and conversed with his friends 
in his ordinary manner, and went with them 
afterward to a public entertainment. As soon 
as it was dark and the^streets were still, he set 
off secretly from the city, accompanied by a 
very few attendants. Instead of making use 
of his ordinary equipage, the parading of 
which would have attracted attention to his 
movements, he had some mules taken from a 
neighboring bakehouse, and harnessed into his 
chaise. There were torchbearers provided to 
light the way. The cavalcade drove on during 
the night, finding, however, the hasty prepara- 
tions which had been made inadequate for the 
occasion. The torches went out, the guides 
lost their way, and the future conqueror of the 



112 JULIUS C^SAR. 

world wandered about bewildered and lost, 
until, just after break of day, the party met 
with a peasant who uudertook to guide them. 
Under his direction they made their way to the 
main road again, and advanced then without 
further difficulty to the banks of the river, 
where they found that portion of the army 
which had been sent forward encamped, and 
awaiting their arrival. 

Csesar stood for some time upon the banks 
of the stream, musing upon the greatness of the 
undertaking in which simply passing across it 
would involve him. His officers stood by his 
side. '*We can retreat now,'' said he, **but 
once across that river and we must go on. ' ' 
He paused for some time, conscious of the vast 
importance of the decision, though he thought 
only, doubtless, of its consequences to himself. 
Taking the step which was now before him 
would necessarily end either in his realizing the 
loftiest aspirations of his ambition, or in his 
utter and irreparable ruin. There were vast 
public interests, too, at stake, of which, how- 
ever, he probably thought but little. It proved, 
in the end, that the history of the whole Eoman 
world, for several centuries, was depending 
upon the manner in which the question now in 
Caesar's mind should turn. 

There was a little bridge across the Eubicon 
at the point where Caesar was surveying it. 
While he was standing there, the story is, a 



CROSSING THE RUBICON. 113 

peasant or shepherd came from the neigh- 
boring fields with a shepherd's pipe — a 
simple musical instrument, made of a reed, 
and used much by the rustic musicians of 
those days. The soldiers and some of the 
officers gathered around him to hear him play. 
Among the rest came some of Caesar's trumpet- 
ers, with their trumpets in their hands. The 
shepherd took one of these martial instruments 
from the hands of its possessor, laying aside 
his own, and began to sound a charge — which 
is a signal for a rapid advance — and to march 
at the same time over the bride. '*An omen! 
a prodigy !" said Caesar. *'Let us march where 
we are called by such a divine intimation. 
The die is cast. ' ' 

So saying, he pressed forward over the 
bridge, while the officers, breaking up the en- 
campment, put the columns in motion to follow 
him. 

It was shown abundantly, on many oc- 
casions in the course of Caesar's life, that he 
had no faith in omens. There are equally 
numerous instances to show that he was always 
ready to avail himself of the popular belief in 
them, to awaken his soldiers' ardor or to allay 
their fears. "Whether, therefore, in respect to 
this story of the shepherd trumpeter, it was 
an incident that really and accidentally oc- 
curred, or whether Caesar planned and arranged 
it himself, with reference to its effect, or 



114 JULIUS CiESAR. 

whether, which is, perhaps, after all, the most 
probable supposition, the tale was only an em- 
bellishment invented out of something or 
nothing by the story-tellers of those days to 
give additional dramatic interest to the narra- 
tive of the crossing of the Eubicon, it must be 
left for each reader to decide. 

As soon as the bridge was crossed, Caesar 
called an assembly of his troops, and, with 
signs of great excitement and agitation, made 
an address to them on the magnitude of the 
crisis through which they were passing. He 
showed them how entirely he was in their 
power; he urged them, by the most eloquent 
appeals, to stand by him, faithful and true, 
promising them the most ample rewards when 
he should have attained the object at which he 
aimed. The soldiers responded to this appeal 
with promises of the most unwavering fidelity. 

The first town on the Eoman side of the Eubi- 
con was Ariminum. Caesar advanced to this 
town. The authorities opened its gates to 
him — very willing, as it appeared, to receive 
him as their commander. Caesar's force was 
yet quite small, as he had been accompanied 
by only a single legion in crossing the river. 
He had, however, sent orders for the other 
legions, which had been left in Gaul, to join 
him without any delay, though any reinforce- 
ment of his troops seemed hardly necessary, as 
he found no indications of opposition to his 



CROSSING THE RUBICON. 115 

progress. He gave his soldiers the strictest 
injunctions to do no injury to any property, 
public or private, as they advanced, and not to 
assume, in any respect, a hostile attitude to- 
ward the people of the country. The inhabit- 
ants, therefore, welcomed him wherever he 
came, and all the cities and towns followed the 
example of Ariminum, surrendering, in fact, 
faster than he could take possession of them. 

In the confusion of the debates and votes in 
the Senate at Eome before Caesar crossed the 
Eubicon, one decree had been passed deposing 
him from his command of the army, and ap- 
pointing a successor. The name of the gen- 
eral thus appointed was Domitius. The only 
real opposition which Caesar encountered in 
his progress toward Rome was from him. 
Domitius had crossed the Apennines at the 
head of an array on his way northward to sup- 
ersede Caesar in his command, and had reached 
the town of Corfinium, which was perhaps on*e 
third of the way between Eome and the Eubi- 
con. Caesar advanced upon him here and shut 
him in. 

After a brief siege the city was taken, and 
Domitius and his army were made prisoners. 
Everybody gave them up for lost, expecting 
that Caesar would wreak terrible vengeance 
upon them. Instead of this, he received the 
troops at once into his own service, and let 
Domitius go free. 



116 JULIUS CiESAR. 

In the meantime, the tidings of Caesar's hav- 
ing passed the Eubicon, and of the triumphant 
success which he was meeting with at the com- 
mencement of his march toward Eome, reached 
the Capital, and added greatly to the pre- 
vailing consternation. The reports of the 
magnitude of his force and of the rapidity of 
his progress were greatly exaggerated. The 
party of Pompey and the Senate had done 
everything to spread among the people the 
terror of Caesar's name, in order to arouse 
them to efforts for opposing his designs ; and 
now, when he had broken through the barriers 
which had been intended to restrain him, and 
was advancing toward the city in an unchecked 
and triumphant career, they were overwhelmed 
with dismay. Pompey began to be terrified at 
the danger which was impending. The Senate 
held meetings without the city — councils of 
war, as it were, in which they looked to Pom- 
pey in vain for protection from the danger 
which he had brought upon them. He had 
said that he could raise an army sufficient to 
cope with Caesar at any time by stamping with 
his foot. They told him they thought now 
that it was high time for him to stamp. 

In fact, Pompey found the current setting 
everywhere strongly against him. Some 
recommended that commissioners should be 
sent to Caesar to make proposals for peace. 
The leading meii, however, knowing that any 



CROSSING THE RUBICON. 117 

peace made with him under such circumstances 
would be their own ruin, resisted and defeated 
the proposal. Cato abruptly left the city and 
proceeded to Sicily, which had been assigned 
him as his province. Others fled in other 
directions. Pompey himself, uncertain what 
to do, and not daring to remain, called upon 
all his partisans to join him, and set off at 
night, suddenly, and with very little prepara- 
tion and small supplies, to retreat across the 
country toward the shores of the Adriatic Sea. 
His destination was Brundusium, the usual 
port of embarkation for Macedon and Greece. 

Caesar was all this time gradually advancing 
toward Kome. His soldiers were full of en- 
thusiasm in his cause. As his connection 
with the government at home was sundered the 
moment he crossed the Rubicon, all supplies 
of money and of provisions were cutoff in that 
quarter until he should arrive at the Capital 
and take possession of it. The soldiers voted, 
however, that they would serve him without 
pay. The officers, too, assembled together, 
and tendered him the aid of their contribu- 
tions. He had always observed a very gener- 
ous policy in his dealings with them, and he 
was now greatly gratified at receiving their 
requital of it. 

The further he advanced, too, the more he 
found the people of the country though which 
he passed disposed to espouse his cause. They 



118 JULIUS CESAR. 

were struck with his generosity in releasing 
Domitius. It is true that it was a very saga- 
cious policy that prompted him to release him. 
But then it was generosity too. In fact, there 
must be something of a generous spirit in the 
soul to enable a man even to see the policy of 
generous actions. 

Among the letters of Caesar that remain to 
the present day, there is one written about 
this time to one of his friends, in which he 
speaks of this subject. ''I am glad," says he, 
*'thatyou approve of my conduct at Corfinium. 
I am satisfied that such a course is the best 
one for us to pursue, as by so doing we shall 
gain the good will of all parties, and thus secure 
a permanent victory. Most conquerors have 
incurred the hatred of mankind by their cruel- 
ties, and have all, in consequence of the enmity 
they have thus awakened, been prevented from 
long enjoying their power. Sylla was an ex- 
ception ; but his example of successful cruelty 
I have no disposition to imitate. I will con- 
quer after a new fashion, and fortify myself in 
the possession of the power I acquire by gen- 
erosity and mercy." 

Domitius had the ingratitude, after this 
release, to take up arms again, and wage a 
new war against Caesar. When Caesar heard 
of it, he said it was all right. **I will act out 
the principles of my nature," said he, "and 
he may act out his." 



CROSSING THE RUBICON. 119 

Another instance of Caesar's generosity oc- 
curred, which is even more remarkable than 
this. It seems that among the officers of his 
army there were some whom he had appointed 
at the recommendation of Pompey, at the time 
when he and Pompey were friends. These 
men would, of course, feel under obligations 
of gratitude to Pompey, as they owed their 
military rank to his friendly interposition in 
their behalf. As soon as the war broke out, 
Caesar gave them all his free permission to go 
over to Pompey 's side, if they chose to do so. 

Caesar acted thus very liberally in all re- 
spects. He surpassed Pompey very much in 
the spirit of generosity and mercy with which 
he entered upon the great contest before them. 
Pompey ordered every citizen to join his stand- 
ard, declaring that he should consider all neu- 
trals as his enemies. Caesar, on the other 
hand, gave free permission to every one to de- 
cline, if he chose, taking any part in the con- 
test, saying that he should consider all who 
did not act against him as his friends. In the 
political contests of our day, it is to be ob- 
served that the combatants are much more 
prone to imitate the bigotry of Pompey than 
the generosity of Caesar, condemning, as they 
often do, those who choose to stand aloof from 
electioneering struggles, more than they do 
their most determined opponents and enemies. 

When, at length, Caesar arrived at Brun- 



120 JULIUS CiESAR. 

dusium, he found that Pompey had sent a part 
of his army across the Adriatic into Greece, 
and was waiting for the transports to return 
that he might go over himself with the re- 
mainder. In the meantime, he had fortified 
himself strongly in the city. Csesar imme- 
diately laid siege to the place, and he com- 
menced some works to block up the mouth of 
the harbor. He built piers on each side, ex- 
tending out as far into the sea as the depth of 
the water would allow them to be built. He 
then constructed a series of rafts, which he 
anchored on the deep water, in a line extend- 
ing from one pier to the other. He built 
towers upon these rafts, and garrisoned them 
with soldiers, in hopes by this means to pre- 
vent all egress from the fort. He thought 
that, when this work was completed, Pompey 
would be entirely shut in, beyond all possi- 
bility of escape. 

The transports, however, returned before the 
work was completed. Its progress was, of 
course, slow, as the constructions were the 
scene of a continued conflict; for Pompey sent 
out rafts and galleys against them every day, 
and the workmen had thus to build in the 
midst of continual interruptions, sometimes 
from showers of darts, arrows, and javelins, 
sometimes from the conflagrations of fireships, 
and sometimes from the terrible concussions of 
great vessels of war, impelled with prodigious 



CROSSING THE RUBICON. 121 

force agaiDst them. The transports returned, 
therefore, before the defenses were complete, 
and contrived to get into the harbor. Pompey 
immediately formed his plan for embarking 
the remainder of his army. 

He filled the streets of the city with barri- 
cades and pitfalls excepting two streets which 
led to the place of embarkation. The object 
of these obstructions was to embarrass Csesar's 
progress through the city in case he should 
force an entrance while his raen were getting 
on board the ships. He then, in order to 
divert Csesar's attention from his design, 
doubled the guards stationed upon the walls 
on the evening of his intended embarkation, 
and ordered them to make vigorous attacks 
upon all Csesar's forces outside. He then, 
when the darkness came on, marched his troops 
through the two streets which had been left 
open, to the landing place, and got them as 
fast as possible on board the transports. Some 
of the people of the town contrived to make 
known to Caesar's army what was going on, by 
means of signals from the walls; the army im- 
mediately brought scaling ladders in great 
numbers, and, mounting the walls with great 
ardor and impetuosity, they drove all before 
them, and soon broke open the gates and got 
possession of the city. But the barricades and 
pitfalls, together with the darkness, so em- 
barrassed their movements that Pompey sue- 



122 JULIUS CESAR. 

ceeded in completing his embarkation and sail- 
ing away. 

Csesar had no ships in which to follow. He 
returned to Eome. He met, of course, with 
no opposition. He re-established the govern- 
ment there, organized the Senate anew, and 
obtained supplies of corn from the public 
granaries, and of money from the city treasury 
in the Capital. In going to the Capitoline Hill 
after this treasure, he found the officer who had 
charge of the money stationed there to defend 
it. He told Caesar that it was contrary to law 
for him to enter. Caesar said that, for men 
with swords in their hands, there was no law. 
The officer still refused to admit him. Caesar 
then told him to open the doors, or he would 
kill him on the spot. **And you must under- 
stand," he added, *'that it will be easier for 
me to do it than it has been to say it." The 
officer resisted no longer, and Caesar went in. 

After this, Caesar spent some time in vigor- 
ous campaigns in Italy, Spain, Sicily, and 
Gaul, wherever there was manifested any op- 
position to his sway. When this work was 
accomplished, and all these countries were 
completely subjected to his dominion, he began 
to turn his thoughts to tlie plan of pursuing 
Pompey across the Adriatic Sea. 



THE BATTLE OF PHARSALIA. 123 



CHAPTEK VII. 

THE BATTLE OF PHAKSALIA. 

The gathering of the armies of Caesar and 
Pompey on the opposite shores of the Adriatic 
Sea was one of the grandest preparations for 
conflict that history has recorded, and the 
whole world gazed upon the spectacle at the 
time with an intense and eager interest, which 
was heightened by the awe and terror which 
the danger inspired. During the year while 
Caesar had been completing his work of sub- 
duing and arranging all the western part of the 
empire, Pompey had been gathering from the 
eastern division every possible contribution to 
swell the military force under his command, 
and had been concentrating all these elements 
of power on the coasts of Macedon and Greece, 
opposite to Brundusium, where he knew that 
Caesar would attempt to cross the Adriatic Sea. 
His camps, his detachments, his troops of 
archers and slingers, and his squadrons of 
horse, filled the land, while every port was 
guarded, and the line of the coast was environed 
by batteries and castles on the rocks, and fleets 
of galleys ou the water, Caesar advanced with 



124 JULIUS CiESAR. 

his immense army to Brundusium, on the op- 
posite shore, in December, so that, in addition 
to the formidable resistance prepared for him 
by his enemy on the coast, he had to encounter 
the wild surges of the Adriatic, rolling perpet- 
ually in the dark and gloomy commotion 
always raised in such wide seas by wintery 
storms. 

Csesar had no ships, for Pompey had cleared 
the seas of everything which could aid him in 
his intended passage. By great efforts, how- 
ever, he succeeded at length in getting together 
a sufficient number of galleys to convey over a 
part of his army, provided he took the men 
alone, and left all his military stores and 
baggage behind. He gathered his army to- 
gether, therefore, and made them an address, 
representing that they were now drawing to- 
ward the end of all their dangers and toils. 
They were about to meet their great enemy for 
a final conflict. It was not necessary to take 
their servants, their baggage, and their stores 
across the sea, for they were sure of victory, 
and victory would furnish them with ample 
supplies from those whom they were about to 
conquer. 

The soldiers eagerly imbibed the spirit of 
confidence and courage which C^sar himself ex- 
pressed. A large detachment embarked and 
put to sea, and, after being tossed all night 
upon the cold and stormy waters, they ap- 



THE BATTLE OF PHARSALIA. 125 

proached the shore at some distance to the 
northward of the place where Pompey's fleets 
had expected them. It was at a point where 
the mountains came down near to the sea, ren- 
dering the coast rugged and dangerous with 
shelving rocks and frowning promontories. 
Here Caesar succeeded in effecting a landing of 
the first division of his troops, and then sent 
back the fleet for the remainder. 

The news of his passage spread rapidly to 
all Pompey's stations along the coast, and the 
ships began to gather, and the armies to march 
toward the point where Caesar had effected his 
landing. The conflict and struggle commenced. 
One of Pompey's admirals intercepted the fleet 
of galleys on their return, and seized and 
burned a large number of them, with all who 
were on board. This, of course, only renewed 
the determined desperation of the remainder. 
Caesar advanced along the coast with the troops 
which he had landed, driving Pompey's troops 
before him, and subduing town after town as 
he advanced. The country was filled with 
terror and dismay. The portion of the army 
which Caesar had left behind could not now 
cross, partly on account of the stormy condi- 
tion of the seas, the diminished number of the 
ships, and the redoubled vigilance with which 
Pompey's forces now guarded the shores, but 
mainly because Caesar was now no longer with 
them to inspire them with his reckless, though 



126 JULIUS C^SAR. 

calm and quiet daring. They remained, there- 
fore, in anxiety and distress, on the Italian 
S'hore. As Caesar on the other hand, advanced 
along the Macedonian shore, and drove Pom- 
pey back into the interior, he cut off the com- 
munication between Pompey's ships and the 
land, so that the fleet was soon reduced to great 
distress for want of provisions and water. The 
men kept themselves from perishing with thirst 
by collecting the dew which fell upon the decks 
of their galleys. Caesar's army was also in 
distress, for Pompey's fleets cutoff all supplies 
by water, and his troops hemmed them in on 
the side of the land ; and, lastly, Pompey him- 
self, with the immense army that was under 
his command, began to be struck with alarm at 
the impending danger with which they were 
threatened. Pompey little realized, however, 
how dreadful a fate was soon to overwhelm 
him. 

The winter months rolled away, and nothing 
effectual was done. The forces, alternating and 
intermingled, as above described, kept each 
other in a continued state of anxiety and suffer- 
ing. Caesar became impatient at the delay of 
that portion of his army that he had left on the 
Italian shore. The messages of encouragement 
and of urgency which he sent across to them 
did not bring them over, and at length, one 
dark and stormy night, when he thought that 
the inclemency of the skies and the heavy 



THE BATTLE OF PHARSALIA. 127 

surging of the swell in the offing would drive 
his vigilant enemies into places of shelter, and 
put them off their guard, he determined to 
cross the sea himself and bring his hesitating 
army over. He ordered a galley to be pre- 
pared, and went on board of it disguised, and 
with his head muffled in his mantle, intending 
that not even the officers or crew of the ship 
which was to convey him should know of his 
design. The galley, in obedience to orders, 
put off from the shore. The mariners en- 
deavored in vain for some time to make head 
against the violence of the wind and the heavy 
concussions of the waves, and at length, terri- 
fied at the imminence of the danger to which 
so wild and tumultuous a sea on such a nij^ht 
exposed them, refused to proceed, and the 
commander gave them orders to return. Caesar 
then came forward, threw off his mantle, and 
said to them : ^'Friends! you have nothing to 
fear. You are carrying Csesar. " 

The men were, of course, inspirited anew by 
this disclosure, but all was in vain. The ob- 
stacles to the passage proved insurmountable, 
and the galley, to avoid certain destruction, 
was compelled to return. 

The army, however, on the Italian side, 
hearing of Caesar's attempt to return to them, 
fruitless though it was, and stimulated by the 
renewed urgency of the orders which he now 
sent to them, made arrangements at last for an 



128 JULIUS C^SAR. 

embarkation, and, after encountering great 
dangers on the way, succeeded in landing in 
safety. Caesar, thus strengthened, began to 
plan more decided operations for the coming 
spring. 

There were some attempts at negotiation. 
The armies were so exasperated against each 
other on account of the privations and hard- 
ships which each compelled the other to suffer, 
that they felt too strong a mutual distrust to 
attempt any regular communication by com- 
missioners or ambassadors appointed for the 
purpose. They came to a parley, however, in 
one or two instances, though the interviews 
led to no result. As the missiles used in those 
days were such as could only be thrown to a 
very short distance, hostile bodies of men 
could approach much nearer to each other then 
than is possible now, when projectiles of the 
most terribly destructive character can be 
thrown for miles. In one instance, some of 
the ships of Pompey's fleet approached so near 
to the shore as to open a conference with one 
or two of Caesar's lieutenants who were en- 
camped there. In another case, two bodies of 
troops from the respective armies were sepa- 
rated only by a river, and the officers and sol- 
diers came down to the banks on either side, 
and held frequent conversations, calling to each 
other in loud voices across the water. In this 
way they succeeded in so far coming to an 



THE BATTLE OF PHARSALIA. 129 

agreement as to ^x upon a time and place for a 
more formal conference, to be held by com- 
missioners chosen on each side. This con- 
ference was thus held, but each party came 
to it accompanied by a considerable body of 
attendants, and these, as might have been 
anticipated, came into open collision while the 
discussion was pending; thus the meeting 
consequently ended in violence and disorder, 
each party accusing the other of violating the 
faith which both had plighted. 

This slow and undecided mode of warfare 
between the two vast armies continued for 
many months without any decisive results. 
There were skirmishes, struggles, sieges, block- 
ades, and many brief and partial conflictSj but 
no general and decided battle. Now the ad- 
vantage seemed on one side, and now on the 
other. Pompey so hemmed in Caesar's troops 
at one period, and so cut off his supplies, that 
the men were reduced to extreme distress for 
food. At length they found a kind of root 
which they dug from the ground, and, after 
drying and pulverizing it, they made a sort of 
bread of the powder, which the soldiers were 
willing to eat rather than either starve or give 
up the contest. They told Csesar, in fact, that 
they would live on the bark of trees rather 
than abandon his cause. Pompey 's soldiers, 
at one time, coming near to the walls of a town 
which they occupied, taunted and jeered them 



130 JULIUS CESAR. 

on account of their wretched destitution of 
food. Caesar's soldiers threw loaves of this 
bread at them in return, by way of symbol that 
they were abundantly supplied. 

After some time the tide of fortune turned. 
Csesar contrived, by a succession of adroit 
maneuvers and movements, to escape from his 
toils, and to circumvent and surround Pom- 
pey's forces so as soon to make them suffer 
destitution and distress in their turn. He cut 
off all communication between them and the 
country at large, and turned away the brooks 
and streams from flowing through the ground 
they occupied. An army of forty or fifty 
thousand men, with the immense number of 
horses and beasts of burden which accompany 
them, require very large supplies of water, and 
any destitution or even scarcity of water leads 
immediately to the most dreadful conse- 
quences. Pompey's troops dug wells, but 
they obtained only very insufficient supplies. 
Great numbers of beasts of burden died, and 
their decaying bodies so tainted the air as to 
produce epidemic diseases, which destroyed 
many of the troops, and depressed aud dis- 
heartened those whom they did not destroy. 

During all these operations there was no de- 
cisive general battle. Each one of the great 
rivals knew very well that his defeat in one 
general battle would be his utter and irretriev- 
able ruin, In a war between two independent 



THE BATTLE OF PHARSALIA. 131 

nations, a single victory, however complete, 
seldom terjninates the struggle, for the de- 
feated party has the resources of a whole 
realm to fall back upon, which are sometimes 
called forth with renewed vigor after experi- 
encing such reverses ; and then defeat in such 
cases, even if it be final, does not necessarily 
involve the ruin of the unsuccessful com- 
mander. He may negotiate an honorable 
peace, and return to his own land in safety ; 
and, if his misfortunes are considered by his 
countrymen as owing not to any dereliction 
from his duty as a soldier, but to the influence 
of adverse circumstances which no human skill 
or resolution could have controlled, he may 
spend the remainder of his days in prosperity 
and honor. The contest, however, between 
Cfe«ar and Pompey was not of this character. 
One or the other of them was a traitor and a 
usurper — an enemy to his country. The re- 
sult of a battle would decide which of the two 
was to stand in this attitude. Victory would 
legitimize and confirm the authority of one, 
and make it supreme over the whole civilized 
world. Defeat was to annihilate the power of 
the other, and make him a fugitive and a vaga- 
bond, without friends, without home, without 
country. It was a desperate stake ; and it is 
not at all surprising that both parties lingered 
and hesitated, and postponed the throwing of 
the die. 



132 JULIUS C^SAR. 

At length Pompey, rendered desperate by 
the urgency of the destitution and distress 
into which Caesar had shut him, made a series 
of vigorous and successful attacks upon Cae- 
sar's lines, by which he broke away in his 
turn from his enemy's grasp, and the two 
armies moved slowly back into the interior of 
the country, hovering in the vicinity of each 
other, like birds of prey contending in the air, 
each continually striking at the other, and 
moving onward at the same time to gain some 
position of advantage, or to circumvent the 
other in such a design. They passed on in 
this manner over plains, and across rivers, and 
through mountain passes, until at length they 
reached the heart of Thessaly. Here at last 
the armies came to a stand and fought the final 
battle. 

The place was known then as the plain of 
Pharsalia, and the greatness of the contest 
which was decided there has immortalized its 
name. Pompey 's forces were far more numer- 
ous than those of Caesar, and the advantage in 
all the partial contests which had taken place 
for some time had been on his side; he felt, 
consequently, sure of victory. He drew up 
his men in a line, one flank resting upon the 
bank of a river, which protected them from 
attack on that side. From this point, the 
long line of legions, drawn up in battle array, 
extended out upon the plain, and was termi- 



THE BATTLE OF PHARSALIA. 



133 



Dated at the other extremity by strong squad- 
rons of horse, and bodies of slingers and arch- 
ers, so as to give the force of weapons and the 
activity of men as great a range as possible 




Roman Standard Bearers. 

there, in order to prevent Caesar's being able 
to outflank and surround them. 

There was, however, apparently very little 
danger of this, for Cseaar, according to his 



134 JULIUS C^SAR. 

own story, Lad but about half as strong a force 
as Pompey. The army of the latter, he says, 
consisted of nearly fifty thousand men, while 
his own number was between twenty and thirty 
thousand. Generals, however, are prone to 
magnify the military grandeur of their exploits 
by overrating the strength with which they 
had to contend, and underestimating their 
own. We are therefore to receive v/ith some 
distrust the statements made by Csesar and his 
partisans; and as for Pompey 's story, the 
total and irreparable ruin in which he himself 
and all who adhered to him were entirely 
overwhelmed immediately after the battle, 
prevented its being ever told. 

In the rear of the plain where Pompey 's 
lines were extended was the camp from which 
the army had been drawn out to prepare for 
the battle. The campfires of the preceding 
night were moldering away, for it was a warm 
summer morning; the intrenchments were 
guarded, and the tents, now nearly empty, 
stood extended in long rows within the in- 
closure. In the midst of them was the magnif- 
icent pavilion of the general, furnished with 
every imaginable article of luxury and splen- 
dor. Attendants were busy here and there, 
some rearranging what had been left in dis- 
order by the call to arms by which the troops 
bad been summoned from their places of rest, 
and others providing refreshmeata and food 



THE BATTLE OF PMARSALIA. 135 

for their victorious comrades when they should 
return from the battle. In Pompey's tent a 
magnificent entertainment was preparing. The 
tables were spread with every luxury, the side- 
boards were loaded with plate, and the whole 
scene was resplendent with utensils and deco- 
rations of silver and gold. 

Pompey and all his generals were perfectly 
certain of victory. In fact, the peace and har- 
mony of their councils in camp had been 
destroyed for many days by their contentions 
and disputes about the disposal of the high 
offices, and the places of profit and power at 
Piome, which were to come into their Lauds 
when Caesar should have been subdued. The 
subduing of Csesar they considered only a 
question of time ; and, as a question of time, 
it was now reduced to very narrow limits. A 
few days more and they were to be masters of 
the whole Eoman empire, and, impatient and 
greedy, they disputed in anticipation about the 
division of the spoils. 

To make assurance doubly sure, Pompey 
gave orders that his troops should not advance 
to meet the onset of Caesar's troops on the 
middle ground between the two armies, but that 
they should wait calmly for the attack, and 
receive the enemy at the posts where they had 
themselves been arrayed. 

The hour at length arrived, the charge was 
sounded by the trumpets, and Caesar's troops 



136 JULIUS C^SAR. 

began to advance with loud shouts and great 
impetuosity toward Pompey's lines. There 
was a long and terrible struggle, but the forces 
of Pompey began finally to give way. Not- 
withstanding the precautious which Pompey 
had taken to guard and protect the wing of his 
army which was extended toward the land, 
Caesar succeeded in turning his flank upon that 
side by driving off the cavalry and destroying 
the archers and slingers, and he was thus en- 
abled to throw a strong force upon Pompey 's 
rear. The flight then soon became general, 
and a scene of dreadful confusion and slaugh- 
ter ensued. The soldiers of Caesar's army, 
maddened with the insane rage which the prog- 
ress of a battle never fails to awaken, and 
now excited to frenzy by the exultation of 
success, pressed on after the affrighted fugi- 
tives, who trampled one upon another, or fell 
pierced with the weapons of their assailants, 
filling the air with their cries of agony and 
their shrieks of terror. The horrors of the 
scene, far from allaying, only excited still more 
the ferocity of their bloodthirsty foes, and 
they pressed steadily and fiercely on, hour 
after hour, in their dreadful work of destruc- 
tion. It was one of those scenes of horror and 
woe, such as those who have not witnessed 
them cannot conceive of, and those who have 
witnessed can never forget. 

When Pompey perceived that all was lost, 



THE BATTLE OF PHARSALIA. 137 

he fled from the field in a state of the wildest 
excitement and consternation. His troops 
were flying in all directions, some toward the 
camp, vainly hoping to find refuge there, and 
others in various other quarters, wherever they 
saw the readiest hope of escape from their 
merciless pursuers. Pompey himself fled in- 
stinctively toward the camp. As he passed 
the guards at the gate where he entered, he 
commanded them, in his agitation and terror, 
to defend the gate against the coming enemy, 
saying that he was going to the other gates to 
attend to the defenses there. He then hurried 
on, but a full sense of the helplessness and 
hopelessness of his condition soon overwhelmed 
him ; he gave up all thought of defense, and, 
passing with a sinking heart through the scene 
of consternation and confusion which reigned 
everywhere within the encampment, he sought 
his own tent, and, rushing into it, sank down, 
amid the luxury and splendor which had been 
arranged to do honor to his anticipated vic- 
tory, in a state of utter stupefaction and 
despair. 



138 JULIUS CiESAR. 



CHAPTEE VIII. 

FLIGHT AND DEATH OF POMPEY. 

C^SAB pnrsued the discomfited and flying 
bodies of Pompey's army to the camp. They 
made a brief stand upon the ramparts and at 
the gates, in a vain and fruitless struggle 
against the tide of victory which they soon 
perceived must fully overwhelm them. They 
gave way continually here and there along the 
lines of intrenchment, and column after column 
of Caesar's followers broke through into the 
camp. Pompey, hearing from his tent the in- 
creasing noise and uproar, was at length 
aroused from his stupor, and began to summon 
his faculties to the question what he was to do. 
At length a party of fugitives, hotly pursued 
by some of Caesar's soldiers, broke into his 
tent. '*What!" said Pompey, '*into my tent 
too!" He had been for more than thirty 
years a victorious general, accustomed to all 
the deference and respect which boundless 
wealth, extended and absolute power, and the 
highest military rank could afford. In tho 



FLIGHT AND DEATH OF POMPEY. 139 

encampments which he had made, and in the 
cities which he had occupied from time to 
time, he had been the supreme and unques- 
tioned master, and his tent, arranged and fur- 
nished, as it had always been, in a style of the 
utmost magnificence and splendor, had been 
sacred from all intrusion, and invested with 
such a dignity that potentates and princes were 
impressed when they entered, with a feeling of 
deference and awe. Now, rude soldiers burst 
wildly into it, and the air without was filled 
with an uproar and confusion, drawing every 
moment nearer and nearer, and warning the 
fallen hero that there was no longer any pro- 
tection there against the approaching torrent 
which was coming on to overwhelm him. 

Pompey aroused himself from his stupor, 
threw off the military dress which belonged to 
his rank and station, and assumed a hasty dis- 
guise, in which he hoped he might make his 
escape from the immediate scene of his calam- 
ities. He mounted a horse and rode out of 
the camp at the easiest place of egress in the 
rear, in company with bodies of troops and 
guards who were also flying in confusion, 
while Caesar and his forces on the other side 
were carrying the intrenchments and forcing 
their way in. As soon as he had thus made 
his escape from the immediate scene of dan- 
ger, he dismounted and left Lis horse, that he 
might assume more completely the appearance 



140 JULIUS CiESAR. 

of a common soldier, and, with a few attend- 
ants who were willing to follow his fallen for- 
tunes, he went on to the eastward, directing 
his weary steps toward the shores of the 
^gean Sea. 

The country through which he was traveling 
was Thessaly. Thessaly is a vast amphi- 
theater, surrounded by mountains, from whose 
sides streams descend, which, after watering 
many fertile valleys and plains, combine to 
form one great central river that flows to the 
eastward, and after various meanderings, finds 
its way into the ^gan Sea through a romantic 
gap between two mountains, called the Vale of 
Tempe — a vale which has been famed in all 
ages for the extreme picturesqueness of its 
scenery, and in which, in those days, all the 
charms both of the most alluring beauty and 
of the sublimest grandeur seemed to be com- 
bined. Pompey followed the roads leading 
along the banks of this stream, weary in body, 
and harassed and disconsolate in mind. The 
news which came to him from time to time, 
by the flying parties which were moving 
through the country in all directions, of the 
entire and overwhelming completeness of Cae- 
sar's victory, extinguished all remains of hope, 
and narrowed down at last the grounds of his 
solicitude to the single point of his own per- 
sonal safety. He was well aware that he 
should be pursued, and, to bafOie the efforts 



FLIGHT AND DEATH OF POMPEY. 141 

which he knew that his enemies would make to 
follow his track, he avoided large towns, and 
pressed forward in byways and solitudes, 
bearing as patiently as he was able his increas- 
ing destitution and distress. He reached, at 
length, the Yale of Tempe, and there, ex- 
hausted with hunger, thirst, and fatigue, he 
sat down upon the bank of the stream to re- 
cover by a little rest strength enough for the 
remainder of his weary way. He wished for a 
drink, but he had nothing to drink from. 
And so the mighty potentate, whose tent was 
full of delicious beverages, and cups and gob- 
lets of silver and gold, extended himself down 
upon the sand at the margin of the river, and 
drank the warm water directly from the stream. 
While Pompey was thus anxiously and toil- 
somely endeavoring to gain the seashore, Caesar 
was completing his victory over the army 
which he had left behind him. When Caesar 
had carried the intrenchments of the camp, 
and the army found that there was no longer 
any safety for them there, they continued their 
retreat under the guidance of such generals as 
remained. Caesar thus gained undisputed pos- 
session of the camp. He found everywhere 
the marks of wealth and luxury, and indica- 
tions of the confident expectation of victory 
which the discomfited army had entertained. 
The tents of the generals were crowned with 
myrtle, the beds were strewed with flowers, 



14^. JULIUS C^SAR. 

and tables everywhere were spread for feasts, 
with cups and bowls of wine all ready for the 
exi^ected revelers. Csesar took possession of 
the whole, stationed a proper guard to protect 
the property, and then pressed forward with 
his army in pursuit of the enemy. 

Pompey's army made their way to a neigh- 
boring rising ground, where they threw up 
hasty intrenchments to protect themselves for 
the night. A rivulet ran near the hill, the 
access to which they endeavored to secure, in 
order to obtain supplies of water. Caesar and 
his forces followed them to this spot. The 
day was gone, and it was too late to attack 
them. Caesar's soldiers, too, were exhausted 
with the intense and protracted excitement and 
exertions which had now been kept up for many 
hours in the battle and in the pursuit, and 
they needed repose. They made, however, on 
effort more. They seized the avenue of ap- 
proach to the rivulet, and threw up a tempo- 
rary intrenchment to secure it, which intrench- 
ment they protected with a guard; and then 
the armv retired to rest, leaving their helpless 
victims to while away the hours of the night, 
tormented with thirst, and overwhelmed with 
anxiety and despair. This could not long be 
endured. They surrendered in the morning, 
and Caesar found himself in possession of over 
twenty thousand prisoners. 

In the meantime, Pompey passed on through 



FLIGHT AND DEATH OF POMPEY. 143 

the Vale of Tempe toward the sea, regardless 
of the beauty and splendor that surrounded 
him, and thinking only of his fallen fortunes, 
and revolving despairingly in his mind the 
various forms in which the final consummation 
of his ruin might ultimately come. At length 
he reached the seashore, and found refuge for 
the night in a fisherman's cabin. A small 
number of attendants remained with him, some 
of whom were slaves. These he now dis- 
missed, directing them to return and surrender 
themselves to Caesar, saying that he was a gen- 
erous foe, and that they had nothing to fear 
from him. His other attendants he retained, 
and he made arrangements for a boat to take 
him the next day along the coast. It was a 
river boat, and unsuited to the open sea, but 
it was all that he could obtain. 

He arose the next morning at break of day, 
and embarked in the little vessel, with two or 
three attendants, and the oarsmen began to 
row away along the shore. They soon came 
in sight of a merchant ship just ready to sail. 
The master of this vessel, it happened, had 
seen Pompey, and knew his countenance, and 
he had dreamed, as a famous historian of the 
times relates, on the night before, that Pom- 
pey had come to him in the guise of a simple 
soldier, and in great distress, and that he had 
received and rescued him. There was nothing 
extraordinary in such a dream at such a time, 



144 JULIUS C^SAR. 

as the contest between Caesar and Pompey, 
and the approach of the final collision which 
was to destroy one or the other of them, filled 
the minds and occupied the conversation of the 
world. The shipmaster, therefore, having 
seen and known one of the great rivals in the 
approaching conflict, would naturally find both 
his waking and sleeping thoughts dwelling on 
the subject; and his fancy, in his dreams, 
might easily picture the scene of his rescuing 
and saving the fallen hero in the hour of his 
distress. 

However this may be, the shipmaster is said 
to have been relating his dream to the seamen 
on the deck of his vessel when the boat which 
was conveying Pompey came into view. Pom- 
pey himself, having escaped from the land, 
supposed all immediate danger over, not im- 
agining that seafaring men would recognize 
him in such a situation and in such a disguise. 
The shipmaster did, however, recognize him. 
He was overwhelmed with grief at seeing him 
in such a condition. With a countenance and 
with gestures expressive of earnest surprise 
and sorrow, he beckoned to Pompey to come 
on board. He ordered his own ship's boat to 
be immediately let down to meet and receive 
him. Pompey came on board. The ship was 
given up to his possession, and every possible 
arrangement was made to supply his wants, to 
contribute to his comfort, and to do him 
honor. 



FLIGHT AND DEATH OF POMPEY. 145 

The vessel conveyed him to Amphipolis, a 
city of Macedonia near the sea, and to the 
northward and eastward of the ijlace where he 
had embarked. When Pompey arrived at the 
port, he sent proclamations to the shore, call- 
ing upon the inhabitants to take arms and join 
his standard. He did not, however, land, or 
take any other measures for carrying these 
arrangements into effect. He only waited in 
the river upon which Amphipolis stands long 
enough to receive a supply of money from 
some of his friends on the shore, and stores 
for his voyage, and then set sail again. 
Whether he learned that Caesar was advancing 
in that direction with a force too strong for 
him to encounter, or found that the people 
were disinclined to espouse his cause, or 
whether the whole movement was a feint to 
direct Caesar's attention to Macedon as the 
field of his operations, ia order that he might 
escape more secretly and safely beyond the 
sea, cannot now be ascertained. 

Pomi^ey's wife, Cornelia, was on the island 
of Lesbos, at Mitylene, near the western coast 
of Asia Minor. She was a lady of distin- 
guished beauty, and of great intellectual . 
superiority and moral worth. She was ex- 
tremely well versed in all the learning of the 
times, and yet was entirely free from those 
peculiarities and airs which, as her historian 
says, were often observed in learned ladies in 



146 JULIUS C^SAR. 

those days. Pompey had married her after 
the death of Julia, Caesar's daughter. They 
were strougly devoted to each other. Pompey 
had provided for her a beautiful retreat on the 
island of Lesbos, where she was living in ele- 
gance and splendor, beloved for her own intrin- 
sic charms, and highly honored on account of 
the greatness and fame of her husband. Here 
she had received from time to time glowing 
accounts of his success, all exaggerated as they 
came to her, through the eager desire of the 
narrators to give her pleasure. 

From this high elevation of honor and hap- 
piness the ill-fated Cornelia suddenly fell, on 
the arrival of Pompey 's solitary vessel at 
Mitylene, bringing as it did, at the same time, 
both the first intelligence of her husband's 
fall, and himself in person, a ruined and home- 
less fugitive and wanderer. The meeting was 
sad and sorrowful. Cornelia was overwhelmed 
at the suddenness and violence of the shock 
which it brought her, and Pompey lamented 
anew the dreadful disaster that he had sus- 
tained, at finding how inevitably it must in- 
volve his beloved wife as well as himself in its 
irreparable ruin. 

The pain, however, was not wholly without 
some mingling of pleasure. A husband finds 
a strange sense of protection and safety in the 
presence and sympathy of an affectionate wife 
in the hour of his calamity, She can, per- 



FLIGHT AND DEATH OF POMPEY. 147 

haps, do nothing, but her mute and sorrowful 
concern and pity comfort and reassure him. 
Cornelia, however, was able to render her hus- 
band some essential aid. She resolved imme- 
diately to accompany him wherever he should 
go; and, by their joint endeavors, a little fleet 
was gathered, and such supplies as could be 
hastily obtained, and such attendants and fol- 
lowers as were willing to share his fate, were 
taken onboard. During all this time Pompey 
would not go on shore himself, but remained 
on board his ship in the harbor. Perhaps he 
was afraid of some treachery or surprise, or 
perhaps, in his fallen and hopeless condition, 
he was unwilling to expose himself to the gaze 
of those who had so often seen hiro in all the 
splendor of his former power. 

At length, when all was ready, he sailed 
away. He passed eastward along the Medi- 
terranean, touching at such ports as he sup- 
posed most likely to favor his cause Yague 
and uncertain, but still alarming rumors that 
Caesar was advancing in pursuit of him met 
him everywhere, and the people of the various 
provinces were taking sides, some in bis favor 
and some against him, the excitement being 
everywhere so great that the utmost caution 
and circumspection were required in all his 
movements. Sometimes he was refused per- 
mission to land ; at others, his friends were too 
few to afford him protection; and at others 



148 JULIUS CiESAR. 

still, though the authorities professed friend- 
ship, he did not dare to trust them. He ob- 
tained, however, some supplies of money and 
some accessions to the number of ships and 
men under his command, until at length he 
had quite a little fleet in his train. Several 
men of rank and influence, who had served 
under him in the days of his prosperity, nobly 
adhered to him now, and formed a sort of 
court or council on board his galley, where 
they held with their great though fallen com- 
mander frequent conversations on the plan 
which it was best to pursue. 

It was finally decided that it was best to 
seek refuge in Egypt. There seemed to be, 
in fact, no alternative. All the rest of the 
world was evidently going over to Caesar. 
Pompey had been the means, some years be- 
jore^ of restoring a certain king of Egypt to 
his throne, and many of his soldiers had been 
left in the country, and remained there still. 
It IS true that the king himself had died. He 
had left a dau[;'hter named Cleopatra, and also 
a son, who was at thi3 time very young. The 
name of this youthful prince was Ptolemy. 
Ptolemy and Cleopatra had been made by their 
father joint heirs to the throne. But Ptolemy, 
or, rather, the ministers and counselors who 
acted for him and in his name, had expelled 
Cleopatra, that they might govern alone. 
Cleopatra had raised an army in Syria, and 



FLIGHT AND DEATH OF POMPEY. 149 

was on her way to the frontiers of Egypt to 
regain possession of what she deemed her 
rights. Ptolemy's ministers had gone forth to 
meet her at the head of their own troops, 
Ptolemy himself being also with them. They 
had reached Pelusium, which is the frontier 
town between Egypt and Syria on the coast of 
the Mediterranean. Here their armies had 
assembled in vast encampments upon the land, 
and their galleys and transports were riding at 
anchor along the shore of the sea. Pompey 
and his counselors thought that the govern- 
ment of Ptolemy would receive him as a friend, 
on account of the services he had rendered to 
the young prince's father, forgetting that 
gratitude has never a place on the list of polit- 
ical virtues. 

Pompey 's little squadron made its way 
slowly over the waters of the Mediterranean 
toward Pelusium and the camp of Ptolemy. 
As they approached the shore, both Pompey 
himself and Cornelia felt many anxious fore- 
bodings. A messenger was sent to the land to 
inform the youijgking of Pompey 's approach, 
and to solicit his protection. The government 
of Ptolemy held a council, and took the subject 
into consideration. 

Various opinions were expressed, and vari- 
ous plans were proposed. The counsel which 
was finally followed was this. It would be 
dangerous to receive Pompey, since that would 



150 JUILUS C^SAR. 

make Caesar their enemy. It would be dan- 
gerous to refuse to receive iiim, as that would 
make Pompey their enemy, and, though 
powerless now he might one day be in a con- 
dition to seek vengeance. It was wisest, 
therefore, to destroy him. They would invite 
him to the shore, and kill him when he landed. 
This would please Caesar; and Pompey him- 
self, being dead, could never revenge it. 
"Dead dogs," as the orator said who made 
this atrocious proposal, **do not bite." 

An Egyptian, named Achillas, was appointed 
to execute the assassination thus decreed. An 
invitation was sent to Pompey to land, accom- 
panied with a promise of protection ; and, 
when his fleet had approached near enough to 
the shore, Achillas took a small party in a 
boat, and went out to meet his galley. The 
men in this boat, of course, were armed. 

The officers and attendants of Pompey 
watched all these movements from the deck of 
his galley. They scrutinized everything that 
occurred with the closest attention and the 
greatest anxiety, to see whether the indications 
denoted an honest friendship or intentions of 
treachery. The appearances were not favor- 
able. Pompey 's friends observed that no 
preparations were making along the shore for 
receiving him with the honors due, as they 
thought, to his rank and station. The manner, 
too, in which the Egyptians seemed to expect 



FLIGHT AND DEATH OF POMPEY. 151 

him to land was ominous of evil. Only a 
single insignificant boat for a potentate who 
recently had commanded half the world! 
Then, besides, the friends of Pompey observed 
that several of the principal galleys of Ptole- 
my's fleet were getting up their anchors, and 
preparing apparently to be ready to move at a 
sudden call. These and other indications ap- 
peared much more like preparations for seiz- 
ing an enemy than welcoming a friend. Cor- 
nelia, who, with her little son, stood upon the 
deck of Pompey 's galley, watching the scene 
with a peculiar intensity of solicitude which 
the hardy soldiers around her could not have 
felt, became soon exceedingly alarmed. She 
begged her husband not to go on shore. But 
Pompey decided that it was now too late to re- 
treat. He could not escape from the Egyptian 
galleys if they had received orders to intercept 
him, nor could he resist violence if violence 
were intended. To do anything like that 
would evince distrust, and to appear like 
putting himself upon his guard would be to 
take at once, himself, the position of an enemy, 
and invite and justify the hostility of the 
Egyptians in return. As to flight, he could 
not hope to escape from the Egyptian galleys 
if they had received orders to prevent it; and, 
besides, if he were determined on attempting 
an escape, whither should he fly ? The world 
was against him. His triumphant enemy was 



152 JULIUS C^SAR. 

on his track in full pursuit, with all the vast 
powers and resources of the whole Roman em- 
pire at his command. There remained for 
Pompey only the last forlorn hope of a refuge 
in Egypt, or else, as the sole alternative, a 
complete and unconditional submission to 
Caesar. His pride would not consent to this, 
and he determined, therefore, dark as the in- 
dications were, to place himself, without any 
appearance of distrust, in Ptolemy's hands, 
and abide the issue. 

The boat of Achillas approached the galley. 
When it touched the side, Achillas and the 
other officers on board of it hailed Pompey in 
the most respectful manner, giving him the 
title of Imperator, the highest title known in the 
Homan state. Achillas addressed Pompey in 
Greek. The Greek was the language of edu- 
cated men in all the Eastern countries in those 
days. He told him that the water was too 
shallow for his galley to approach nearer to the 
shore, and invited him to come on board of his 
boat, and he would take him to the beach, 
where, as he said, the king was waiting to re- 
ceive him. 

With many anxious forebodings, that were 
but ill concealed, Pompey made preparations 
to accept the invitation. He bade his wife 
farewell, who clung to him as they were about 
to part with a gloomy presentiment that they 
should never meet again, Two centurions who 



FLIGHT AND DEATH OF POMPEY. 153 

were to accompany Poropey, and two servants, 
descended into the boat. Ponapey himself fol- 
lowed, and then the boatmen pushed off from 
the galley and made toward the shore. The 
decks of all the vessels in Pompey's little 
squadron, as well as those of the Egyptian 
fleet, were crowded with spectators, and lines 
of soldiery and groups of men, all intently 
watching the operations of the landing, were 
scattered along the shore. 

Among the men whom Achillas had provided 
to aid him in the assassination was an officer 
of the Eoman army who had formerly served 
under Pompey. As soon as Pompey was 
seated in the boat, he recognized the counte- 
nance of this man, and addressed him, saying: 
*'I think I remember you as having been in 
former days my fellow-soldier. " The man re- 
plied merely by a nod of assent. Feeling 
somewhat guilty and self-condemned at the 
thoughts of the treachery which he was about 
to perpetrate, he was little inclined to renew 
the recollection of the days when he was Pom- 
pey's friend. In fact, the whole company in 
the boat, filled on the one part with awe in an- 
ticipatioD of the terrible deed which they were 
soon to commit, and on the other with a dread 
suspense and alarm, were little disposed for 
conversation, and Pompey took out a manu- 
script of an address in Greek which he had 
prepared "to make to the young king at his 



154 JULIUS C^SAR. 

approaching interview with him, and occupied 
himself in reading it over. Thus they ad- 
vanced in a gloomy and solemn silence, hear- 
ing no sound but the dip of the oars in the 
water, and the gentle dash of the waves along 
the line of the shore. 

At length the boat touched the sand, while 
Cornelia still stood on the deck of the galley, 
watching every movement with great solicitude 
and concern. One of the two servants whom 
Pompey had taken with him, named Philip, 
his favorite personal attendant, rose to assist 
his master in landing. He gave Pompey his 
hand to aid him in rising from his seat, and 
at that moment the Eoman officer whom Pom- 
pey had recognized as his fellow-soldier, ad- 
vanced behind him and stabbed him in the 
back. At the same instant Achillas and the 
others drew their swords. Pompey saw that 
all was lost. He did not speak, and he uttered 
no cry of alarm, though Cornelia's dreadful 
shriek was so loud and piercing that it was 
heard upon the shore. From the suffering 
victim himself nothing was heard but an inar- 
ticulate groan extorted by his agony. He 
gathered his mantle over his face, and sank 
down and died. 

Of course, all was now excitement and con- 
fusion. As soon as the deed was done, the 
perpetrators of it retired from the scene, tak- 
ing the head of their unhappy victim with 



FLIGHT AND DEATH OF POMPEY. 155 

them, to offer to Csesar as proof that hia enemy 
was really no more. The officers who re- 
mained in the fleet which had brought Pompey 
to the coast made all haste to sail away, bear- 
ing the wretched Cornelia with them, utterly 
distracted with grief and despair, while Philip 
and his fellow-servant remained upon the 
beach, standing bewildered and stupefied over 
the headless body of their beloved master. 
Crowds of spectators came in succession to 
look upon the hideous spectacle a moment in 
silence, and then to turn, shocked and repelled, 
away. At length, when the first impulse of 
excitement had in some measure spent its force, 
Philip and his comrades so far recovered their 
composure as to begin to turn their thoughts 
to the only consolation that was now left to 
them, that of performing the solemn duties of 
sepulture. They found the wreck of a fishing 
boat upon the strand, from which they obtained 
wood enough for a rude funeral pile. They 
burned what remained of the mutilated body, 
and, gathering up the ashes, they put them 
in an urn and sent them to Cornelia, who after- 
ward buried them at Alba with many bitter 
tears. 



156 JULIUS CiESAR. 



CHAPTER IX. 

CiESAR IN EGYPT. 

C^SAR surveyed the field of battle after the 
victory of Pharsalia, not with the feelings of 
exultation which might have been expected in 
a victorious general, but with compassion and 
sorrow for the fallen soldiers whose dead 
bodies covered the ground. After gazing upon 
the scene sadly and in silence for a time, he 
said: "They would have it so/' and thus dis- 
missed from his mind all sense of his own re- 
sponsibility for the consequences which had 
ensued. 

He treated the immense body of prisoners 
which had fallen into his hands with great 
clemency, partly from the natural impulses of 
his disposition, which were always generous 
and noble, and partly from policy, that he 
might conciliate them all, officers and soldiers, 
to acquiescence m his future rule. He then 
sent back a large portion of his force to Italy, 
and, taking a body of cavalry from the rest, 
in order that he might advance with the ut- 
most possible rapidity, he set off through Thes- 



C^SAR IN EGYPT. 157 

saly and Macedon in pursuit of his fugitive 
foe. 

He had no naval force at his command, and 
he accordingly kept upon the land. Besides, 
he wished, by moving through the country at 
the head of an armed force, to make a demon- 
stration which should put down any attempt 
that might be made in any quarter to rally or 
concentrate a force in Pompey's favor. He 
crossed the Hellespont, and moved down the 
coast of Asia Minor. There was a great tem- 
ple consecrated to Diana at Ephesus, which, 
for its wealth and magnificence, was then the 
wonder of the world. The authorities who 
had it in their charge, not aware of Csesar's 
approach, had concluded to withdraw the 
treasures from the temple and loan them to 
Pompev, to be repaid when he should have re- 
gained his power. An assembly was accord- 
ingly convened to witness the delivery of the 
treasures, and take note of their value, which 
ceremony was to be performed with great for- 
mality and parade, when they learned that Cae- 
sar had crossed the Hellespont and was drawing 
near. The whole proceeding was thus arrested, 
and the treasures were retained. 

Caesar passed rapidly on through Asia 
Minor, examining and comparing, as he ad- 
vanced, the vague rumors which were contin- 
ually coming in in respect to Pompey's move- 
ments. He learned at length that he had gone 



158 JULIUS C^SAR. 

to Cyprus; he presumed that his destination 
was Egypt, and he immediately resolved to 
provide himself with a fleet, and follow him 
thither by sea. As tinae passed on, and the 
Dews of Pompey's defeat and flight, and of 
Caesar's triumphant pursuit of him, became 
generally extended and confirmed, the various 
powers ruling in all that region of the world 
abandoned one after another the hopeless 
cause, and began to adhere to Caesar. They 
offered him such resources and aid as he might 
desire. He did not, however, stop to organize 
a large fleet or to collect an army. He de- 
pended, like Napoleon, in all the great move- 
ments of his life, not on grandeur ol prepara- 
tion, but on celerity of action. He organized 
at Khodes a small but very efficient fleet of ten 
galleys, and, embarking his best troops in 
them, he made sail for the coasts of Egypt. 
Pompey had lauded at Pelusium, on the east- 
ern frontier, having heard that the young king 
and his court were there to meet and resist 
Cleopatra's invasion. Caesar, however, with 
the characteristic boldness and energy of his 
character, proceeded directly to Alexandria, 
the capital. 

Egypt was, in those days, an ally of the 
Romans, as the phrase was; that is, the coun- 
try, though it preserved its independent organ- 
ization and its forms of royalty, was still 
united to the Eoman people by an intimate 



CESAR IN EGYPT. 159 

league, so as to form an integral part of the 
great empire. Qgesar, consequently^ in ap- 
pearing there with an armed force, would 
naturally be received as a friend. He found 
only the garrison which Ptolemy's government 
had left in charge of the city. At first the 
officers of this garrison gave him an outwardly 
friendly reception, but they soon began to take 
offense at the air of authority and command 
which he assumed, and which seemed to them 
to indicate a spirit of encroachment on the 
sovereignty of their own king. 

Feelings of deejjly-seated alienation and 
animosity sometimes find their outward ex- 
pression in contests about things intrinsically 
of very little importance. It was so in this 
case. The Eoman consuls were accustomed to 
use a certain badge of authority called the 
fasces. It consisted of a bundle of rods, 
bound around the handle of an ax. When- 
ever a consul appeared in public, he was pre- 
ceded by two officers called lictors, each of 
whom carried the fasces as a symbol of the 
power which was vested in the distinguished 
personage who followed them. 

The Egyptian officers and the people of the 
city quarreled with Caesar on account of his 
moving about among them in his imperial 
state, accompanied by a life guard, and pre- 
ceded by the lictors. Contests occurred be- 
tween his troops and those of the garrisoD, 



160 JULIUS C^SAR. 

and many disturbances were created in the 
streets of the city. Although no serious col- 
lision took place, Caesar thought it prudent to 
strengthen his force, and he sent back to 
Europe for additional legions to come to Egypt 
and join him. 

The tidings of Pompey's death came to Cae- 
sar at Alexandria, and with them the head of 
the murdered man, which was sent by the 
government of Ptolemy, they supposing that i^ 
would be an acceptable gift to Caesar. Insteau 
of being pleased with it, Caesar turned from 
the shocking spectacle in horror. Pompey 
had been, for many years now gone by, Caesar's 
colleague and friend. He had been his son- 
in-law, and thus had sustained to him a very 
near and endearing relation. In the contest 
which had at last unfortunately arisen, Pom- 
pey had done no wrong either to Caesar or to 
the government at Kome. He was the injured 
party, so far as there was a right and a wrong 
to such a quarrel. And now, after being 
hunted through half the world by his trium- 
phant enemy, he had been treacherously mur- 
dered by men pretending to receive him as a 
friend. The natural sense of justice, which 
formed originally so strong a trait in Caesar's 
character, was not yet wholly extinguished. 
He could not but feel some remorse at the 
thoughts of the long course of violence and 
wrong which he had pursued against his old 



CiESAR IN EGYPT. 



161 



champion and friend, and which had led at 
last to so dreadful an end. Instead of being 
pleased with the horrid trophy which the 




Pompey's Pillar. 



Egyptians sent him, he mourned the death of 
his great rival with sincere and unaffected 
grief, and was filled with indignation against 
his murderers. 



162 JULIUS C^SAR. 

Pompey had a signet ring upon his finger at 
the time of his assassination, which was taken 
ofif by the Egyptian officers and carried away 
to Ptolemy, together with the other articles of 
value w^hich had been found upon his person. 
Ptolemy sent this seal to Caesar to complete 
the proof that its possessor was no more. 
Caesar received this memorial with eager though 
mournful pleasure, and he preserved it with 
great care. And in many ways, during all the 
remainder of his life, he manifested every out- 
ward indication of cherishing the highest re- 
spect for Pompey's memory. There stands to 
the present day, among the ruins of Alexan- 
dria, a beautiful column, about one hundred 
feet high, which has been known in all modern 
times as Pompey's Pillar. It is formed of 
stone, and is in three parts. One stone forms 
the pedestal, another the shaft, and a third the 
capital. The beauty of this column, the per- 
fection of its workmanship, which still con- 
tinues in excellent preservation, and its antiq- 
uity, so great that all distinct record of its 
origin is lost, have combined to make it for 
many ages the wonder and admiration of man- 
kind. Although no history of its origin has 
come down to us, a tradition has descended 
that Caesar built it during his residence in 
Egypt, to commemorate the name of Pompey ; 
but whether it was his own victory over Pom- 
pey, or Pompey's own character and military 



Ci^SAR IN EGEPT. 163 

fame which the structure was intended to sig- 
nalize to mankind, cannot now be known. 
There is even some doubt whether it was erected 
by Caesar at all. 

While Caesar was in Alexandria, many of 
Pompey's officers, now that their master was 
dead, and there was no longer any possibility 
of their rallying again under his guidance and 
command, came in and surrendered themselves 
to him. He received them with great kind- 
ness, and, instead of visiting them with any 
penalties for having fought against him, he 
honored the fidelity and bravery they had 
evinced in the service of their own former 
master. Caesar had, in fact, shown the same 
generosity to the soldiers of Pompey's army 
that he had taken prisoners at the battle of 
Phj-rsalia. At the close of the battle, he 
issued orders that each one of his soldiers 
should have permission to save one of the 
enemy. Nothing could more strikingly ex- 
emplify both the generosity and the tact that 
marked the great conqueror's character than 
this incident. The hatred and revenge which 
had animated his victorious soldiery in the 
battle and in the pursuit, were changed imme- 
diately by the permission to compassion and 
good will. The ferocious soldiers turned at 
once from the pleasure of hunting their dis- 
comfited enemies to death to that of protecting 
and def-ending them; and the way was pre- 



164 JULIUS Ci^iSAR. 

pard for their being received into his service, 
and incorporated with the rest of his army as 
friends and brothers. 

Caesar soon found himself in so strong a 
position at Alexandria, that he determined to 
exercise his authority as Roman consul to 
settle the dispute in respect to the succession of 
the Egyptian crown. There was no difficulty 
in finding pretexts for interfering m the affairs 
of Egypt. In the first place, there was, as 
he contended, great anarchy and confusion at 
Alexandria, people taking different sides in 
the controversy with such fierceness as to ren- 
der it impossible that good government and 
public order should be restored until this great 
question was settled. He also claimed a debt 
due from the Egyptian government, which 
Photinus, Ptolemy's minister at Alexandria, 
was very dilatory in paying. This led to ani- 
mosities and disputes; and, finally, Ca3sar 
found, or pretended to find, evidence that 
-Photinus was forming plots against his life. 
At length Caesar determined on taking decided 
action. He sent orders both to Ptolemy and 
to Cleopatra to disband their forces, to repair 
to Alexandria, and lay their respective claims 
before him for his adjudication. 

Cleopatra complied with this summons, and 
returned to Egypt with a view to submitting 
her case to Caesar's arbitration. Ptolemy de- 
termined to resist. He advanced toward 



CiESAR IN EGYPT. . 165 

Egypt, but it was at the head of his army, and 
with a determination to drive Caesar and all 
his Koman followers away. 

When Cleopatra arrived, she found that the 
avenues of approach to Caesar's quarters were 
all in possession of her enemies, so that, in at- 
tempting to join him, she incurred danger of 
falling into their hands as a prisoner. She 
resorted to a stratagem, as the story is, to gain 
a secret admission. They rolled her up in a 
sort of bale of bedding or carpeting, and she 
was carried in in this way on the back of a 
man, through the guards, who might otherwise 
have intercepted her. Caesar was very much 
pleased with this device, and with the success- 
ful result of it. Cleopatra, too, was young 
and beautiful, and Caesar immediately con- 
ceived a strong but guilty attachment to her, 
which she readily returned. Caesar espoused 
her cause, and decided that she and Ptolemy 
should jointly occupy the throne. 

Ptolemy and his partisans were determined 
not to submit to this award. The consequence 
was, a violent and ].;rotracted war. Ptolemy 
was not only incensed at being deprived of 
what he considered his just right to the realm, 
he was also half distracted at the thought of 
his sister's disgraceful connection with Caesar. 
His excitement and distress, and the exertions 
and efforts to which they aroused him, awak- 
ened a strong sympathy in his cause among 



166 JULIUS C^SAR. 

the people, and Caesar found himself involved 
in a very serious contest, in which his own 
life was brought repeatedly into the most im- 
minent danger, and which seriously threatened 
the total destruction of his power. He, how- 
ever, braved all the difficulty and dangers, and 
recklessly persisted in the course he had taken, 
THider the influence of the infatuation in which 
his attachment to Cleopatra held him, as by a 
spell. 

The war in which Caesar was thus involved 
by his efforts to give Cleopatra a seat with her 
brother on the Egyptian throne, is called in 
history the Alexandrine war. It was marked 
by many strange and romantic incidents. 
There was a lighthouse, called the Pharos, on 
a small island opposite the harbor of Alexan- 
dria, and it was so famed, both on account of 
the great magnificence of the edifice itself, and 
also on account of its position at the entrance 
to the greatest commercial port in the world, 
that it has given its name, as a generic appel- 
lation, to all other structures of the kind — any 
lighthouse being now called a Pharos, just as 
any serious difficulty is called a Gordian knot. 
The Pharos was a lofty tower — the accounts 
say that it was five hundred feet in height, 
which would be an enormous elevation for such 
a structure — and in a lantern at the top a bril- 
liant light was kept constantly burning, which 
could be seen over the water for a hundred 



C^SAR IN EGYPT. 167 

miles. The tower was built in several succes- 
sive stories, each being ornamented with bal- 
ustrades, galleries, and columns, so that the 
splendor of the architecture by day rivaled the 
brilliancy of the radiation which beamed from 
the summit by night. Far and wide over the 
stormy waters of the Mediterranean this 
meteor glowed, inviting and guiding the mar- 
iners in; and both its welcome and its guid- 
ance were doubly prized in those ancient days, 
when there was neither compass nor sextant on 
which they could rely. In the course of the 
contest with the Egyptians, Caesar took pos- 
session of the Pharos, and of the island on 
which it stood ; and as the Pharos was then 
regarded as one of the seven wonders of the 
world, the fame of the exploit, though it was 
probably nothing remarkable in a military 
point of view, spread rapidly throughout the 
world. 

And yet, though the capture of a lighthouse 
was no very extraordinary conquest, in the 
course of the contests on the harbor which were 
connected with it Caesar had a very narrow es- 
cape from death. In all such struggles he was 
accustomed always to take personally his full 
share of the exposure and the danger. This 
resulted in part from the natural impetuosity 
and ardor of his character, which were always 
aroused to double intensity of action by the 
excitement of battle, and partly from the ideaa 



168 JULIUS C^SAR. 

of the military duty of a commander which 
prevailed in those days. There was, besides, 
in this case, an additional inducement to ac- 
quire the glory of extraordinary^ exploits, in 
Caesar's desire to be the object of Cleopatra's 
admiration, who watched all his movements, 
and who was doubly pleased with his prowess 
and bravery, since she saw that they were ex- 
ercised for her sake and in her cause. 

The Pharos was built upon an island, which 
was connected by a pier or bridge with the 
mainland. In the course of the attack upon 
this bridge, Caesar, with a party of his fol- 
lowers, got driven back and hemmed in by a 
body of the enemy that surrounded them, in 
such a place that the only mode of escape 
seemed to be by a boat, which might take them 
to a neighboring galley. They began, there- 
fore, all to crowd into the boat in confusion, 
and so overloaded it that it was obviously in 
imminent danger of being upset or of sinking. 
The upsetting or sinking of an overloaded 
boat brings almost certain destruction upon 
most of the passengers, whether swimmers or 
not, as they seize each other in their terror, 
and go down inextricably entangled together, 
each held by the others in the convulsive grasp 
with which drowning men always cling to 
whatever is within their reach. Caesar, antici- 
pating this danger, leaped over into the sea 
and swam to the ship. He had some papers 



CiESAR IN EGYPT. I6d 

in his hand at the time — plans, perhaps, of 
the works which he was assailing. These he 
held above the water with his left hand, while 
he swam with the right. And to save his 
purple cloak or mantle; the emblem of his im- 
perial dignity, which he supposed the enemy 
w^ould eagerly seek to obtain as a trophy, he 
seized it by a corner between his teeth, and 
drew it after him through the water as he swam 
toward the galley. The boat which he thus 
escaped from soon after went down, with all on 
board. 

During the progress of this Alexandrine war 
one great disaster occurred, which has given to 
the contest a most melancholy celebrity in all 
subsequent ages : this disaster was the destruc- 
tion of the Alexandrian library. The Egyp- 
tians were celebrated for their learning, and, 
under the munificent patronage of some of 
their kings, the learned men of Alexandria had 
made an enormous collection of writings, which 
were inscribed, as was the custom in those 
days, on parchment rolls. .J^henumbi 

rnllfl fvr^yol nm n ti wn n g ajd ^ rTht^ seven hundr ed 

,A9Usandj^jjid-^wiTeajjie^consid^ 
was wfilten with great care, m beautiful char- 
acters, with a pen, and at a vast expense, it is 
not surprising that the collection was the ad- 
miration of the world. In fact, the whole 
body of ancient literature was there recorded. 
Caesar set fire to some Egyptian galleys, which 



170 JULIUS CiESAR. 

lay so near the shore that the wind blew the 
sparks and flames upon the buildings on the 
quay. The fire spread among the palaces and 
other magnificent edifices of that part of the 
city, and one of the great buildings in which 
the library was stored was reached and de- 
stroyed. There was no other such collection 
in the world; and the consequence of this 
calamity has been, that it is only detached and 
insulated fragments of ancient literature and 
science that have come down to our timeSo 
The world will never cease to mourn the irre- 
parable loss. 

Notwithstanding the various untoward inci- 
dents which attended the war in Alexandria 
during its progress, CaBsar, as usual, conquered 
in the end. The young king Ptolemy was de- 
feated, and, in attempting to make his escape 
across a branch of the Nile, he was drowned. 
Caesar then finally settled the kingdom upon 
Cleopatra and a younger brother, and, after 
remaining for some time longer in Egypt, he 
set out on his return to Eome. 

The subsequent adventures of Cleopatra were 
so romantic as to have given her name a very 
wide celebrity. The lives of the virtuous pass 
smoothly and happily away, but the tale, when 
told to others, possesses but little interest or 
attraction; while those of the wicked, whose 
days are spent in wretchedness and despair, 
and are thus full of misery to the actors them- 




r Li i ^ 
, 111 1 ''A. »» 



CiESAR IN EGYPT. 171 

selves, afford to the rest of mankind a high 
degree of pleasure, from the dramatic interest 
of the story. 

Cleopatra led a life of splendid sin, and, of 
course, of splendid misery. She visited Gaesar 
in Rome after his return thither. Caesar re- 
ceived her magnificently, and paid her all pos- 
sible honors ; but the people of Eome regarded 
her with strong reprobation. When her young 
brother, whom Caesar had made her partner on 
the throne, was old enough to claim his share, 
she poisoned him. After Caesar's death, she 
went from Alexandria to Syria to meet Antony, 
one of Caesar's successors, in a galley or barge, 
which was so rich, so splendid, so magnifi- 
cently furished and adorned, that it was famed 
throughout the world as Cleopatra's barge. A 
great many beautiful vessels have since been 
called by the same name. Cleopatra connected 
herself with Antony, who became infatuated 
with her beauty and her various charms as 
Caesar had been. After a great variety of 
romantic adventures, Antony was defeated in 
battle by his great rival Octavius, and, sup- 
posing that he had been betrayed by Cleopatra, 
he pursued her to Egypt intending to kill her. 
She hid herself in a sepulcher, spreading a re- 
port that she had committed suicide, and then 
Antony stabbed himself in a fit of remorse and 
despair. Before he died, he learned that 
Cleopatra was alive, and he caused himself t^ 



172 JULIUS CiESAR. 

be carried into lier presence and died in her 
arms. Cleopatra then fell into the hands of 
Octavius, who intended to carry her to Eome 
to grace his triumph. To save herself from 
this humiliation, and weary with a life which, 
full of sin as it had been, was a constant series 
of sufferings, she determined to die. A serv- 
ant brought in an asp for her, concealed in a 
vase of flowers, at a great banquet. She laid 
the poisonous reptile on her naked arm, and 
died immediately of the bite which it inflictedc 



CiESAR IMPERATOR. 173 



CHAPTEK X. 

C^SAR IMPERATOR. 

Although Pompey himself had been killed, 
and the army under his immediate command 
entirely annihilated, Caesar did not find that 
the empire was yet completely submissive to 
his sway. As the tidings of his conquests 
spread over the vast and distant regions which 
were under the Eoman rule — although the story 
itself of his exploits might have been exag- 
gerated — the impression produced by his 
power lost something of its strength, as men 
generally have little dread of remote danger. 
While he was in Egypt there were three great 
concentrations of power formed against him in 
other quarters of the globe : in Asia Minor, in 
Africa, and in Spain. In putting down these 
three great and formidable arrays of opposi- 
tion, Caesar made an exhibition to the world of 
that astonishing promptness and celerity of 
military action on which his fame as a general 
so much depends. He went first to Asia 
Minor, and fought a great and decisive battle 
there, in a, mannex so sudden and unexpected 



174 JULIUS CiESAR. 

to the forces that opposed him that they 
found themselves defeated almost before they 
suspected that their enemy was near. It was in 
reference to this battle that he wrote the in- 
scription for the banner, ^^Veni, vidi, vici.'' 
The words may be rendered in English, "I 
came, saw, and conquered," though the 
peculiar force of the expression, as well as 
the alliteration, is lost in any attempt to trans- 
late it. 

In the meantime, Csesar's prosperity and 
success had greatly strengthened his cause at 
Eome. Home was supported in a great meas- 
ure by the contributions brought home from 
the provinces by the various military heroes 
who were sent out to govern them ; and, of 
course, the greater and more successful was the 
conqueror, the better was he qualified for 
stations of highest authority in the estimation 
of the inhabitants of the city. They made 
Caesar dictator even while he was away, and 
appointed Mark Antony his master of horse. 
This was the same Antony whom we have 
already mentioned as having been connected 
with Cleopatra after Caesar's death. Eome, 
in fact, was filled with the fame of Caesar's ex- 
ploits, and, as he crossed the Adriatic and ad- 
vanced toward the city, he found himself the 
object of universal admiration and applause. 

But he could not yet be contented to estab- 
lish himself quietly at Home. There was a large 



C^SAR IMPERATOR. 175 

force organized against him in Africa under 
Cato, a stern and indomitable man, who had long 
been an enemy to Csesar, and who now con- 
sidered him as a usurper and an enemy of the 
republic, and was determined to resist him to 
the last extremity. There was also a large 
force assembled in Spain under the command 
of two sons of Pompey, in whose case the ordi- 
nary political hostility of contending partisans 
was rendered doubly intense and bitter by their 
desire to avenge their father's cruel fate. Cae- 
sar determined first to go to Africa, and then, 
after disposing of Cato's resistance, to cross 
the Mediterranean into Spain. 

Before he could set out, however, on these 
expeditions, he was involved in very serious 
difficulties for a time, on account of a great 
discontent which prevailed in his army, and 
which ended at last in open mutiny. The sol- 
diers complained that they had not received 
the rewards and honors which CEBsar had 
promised them. Some claimed offices, others 
money, others lands, which, as they main- 
tained, they had been led to expect would be 
conferred upon them at the end of the cam- 
paign. The fact undoubtedly was, that, elated 
with their success, and intoxicated with the 
spectacle of the boundless influence and power 
which their general so obviously wielded at 
Eome, they formed expectations and hopes for 
themselves altogether too wild and unreason- 



176 JULIUS C^SAR. 

able to be realized by soldiers; for soldiers, 
however nmch they may be flattered by their 
generals in going into battle, or praised in the 
mass in official dispatches, are after all but 
slaves, and slaves, too, of the very humblest 
caste and character. 

The famous tenth legion, Csesar's favorite 
corps, took the most active part in fomenting 
these discontents, as might naturally have been 
expected, since the attentions and the praises 
which he had bestowed upon them, though at 
first they tended to awaken their ambition, and 
to inspire them with redoubled ardor and cour- 
age, ended, as such favoritism always does, in 
making them vain, self-important, and un- 
reasonable. Led on thus by the tenth legion, 
the whole army mutinied. They broke up the 
camp where they had been stationed at some 
distance beyond the walls of Eome, and 
marched toward the city. Soldiers in a 
mutiny, even though headed by their subaltern 
officers, are very little under command ; and 
these Eoman troops, feeling released from 
their usual restraints, committed various ex- 
cesses on the way, terrifying the inhabitants 
and spreading universal alarm. The people of 
the city were thrown into utter consternation 
at the approach of the vast horde, which was 
coming like a terrible avalanche to descend 
upon them. 

The army expected some signs of resistance 



CESAR IMPERATOR. 177 

at the gates, which, if offered, they were pre- 
pared to encounter and overcome. Their plan 
was, after entering the city, to seek Caesar and 
demand their discharge from his service. 
They knew that he was under the necessity of 
immediately making a campaign in Africa, and 
that, of course, he could not possibly, as they 
supposed, dispense with them. He would, 
consequently, if they asked their discharge, 
beg them to remain, and, to induce them to do 
it, would comjjly with all their expectations 
and desires. 

Such was their plan. To tender, however, a 
resignation of an office as a means of bringing 
an oi^posite party to terms, is always a very 
hazardous experiment. We easily overrate 
the estimation in which our own services are 
held, taking what is said to us in kindness or 
courtesy by friends as the sober and deliberate 
judgment of the public; and thus it often 
happens that persons who in such case offer to 
resign, are astonished to find their resignations 
readily accepted. 

When Caesar's mutineers arrived at the gates, 
they found, instead of opposition, only orders 
from Caesar, by which they were directed to 
leave all their arms except their swords, and 
march into the city. They obeyed. They 
were then directed to go to the Campus 
Martins, a vast parade ground situated within 
the walls, and to await Caesar's orders there. 



178 JULIUS Ci^iSAR. 

Caesar met them in the Campus Martius, and 
demanded why they had left their encampment 
without orders and come to the city. They 
stated in reply, as they had previously planned 
to do, that they wished to be discharged from 
the public service. To their great astonish- 
ment, Caesar seemed to consider this request 
as nothing at all extraordinary, but promised, 
on the other hand, very readily to grant it. 
He said that they should be at once dis- 
charged, and should receive faithfully all the 
rewards which had been promised them at the 
close of the war. for their long and arduous 
services. At the same time he expressed his 
deep regret that, to obtain what he was per- 
fectly willing and ready at any time to grant, 
they should have so far forgotten their duties 
as Romans, and violated the discipline which 
should always be held absolutely sacred by 
every soldier. He particularly regretted that 
the tenth legion, on which he had been long 
accustomed so implicitly to rely, should have 
taken a part in such transactions. 

In making this address, Caesar assumed a 
kind and considerate, and even respectful tone 
toward hjs men, calling them Qidrites instead 
of soldiers — an honorary mode of appellation, 
which recognized them as constituent members 
of the Roman commonwealth. The effect of 
the whole transaction was what might have 
been anticipated. A universal desire was 



CiESAR IMPERATOR. 179 

awakened throughout the whole army to return 
to their duty. They sent deputations to 
Caesar, begging not to be taken at their word, 
but to be retained in the service, and allowed 
to accompany him to Africa. After much 
hesitation and delay, Caesar consented to re- 
ceive them again, all excepting the tenth 
legion, who, he said, had now irrevocably lost 
his confidence and regard. It is a striking illus- 
tration of the strength of the attachment whicJi 
bound Caesar's soldiers to their commander 
that the tenth legion ivoidd not be discharged, 
after all. They followed Caesar of theii own 
accord into Africa, earnestly entreating him 
again and again to receive them. He finally 
did receive them in detachments, which he in- 
corporated with the rest of his army, or sent 
on distant service, but he would never organize 
them as the tenth legion again. 

It was now early in the winter, a stormy 
season for crossing the Mediterranean Sea. 
Caesar, however, set ofi from Eome imme- 
diately, proceeded south tc Sicily, and en- 
camped on the seashore there till the fieet was 
ready to convey his forces to Africa. The 
usual fortune attended him in the African cam- 
paigns. His fleet was exposed to imminent 
dangers in crossing the sea, but, in conse- 
quence of the extreme deliberation and skill 
with which his arrangements were made, he 
escaped them all. He overcame one after 



180 JULIUS C^SAR. 

another of the military difficulties which were 
in his way in Africa. His army endured, in the 
depth of winter, great exposures and fatigues, 
and they had to encounter a large hostile 
force under the charge of Cato. They were, 
however, successful in every undertaking. 
Cato retreated at last to the city of TJtica, 
where he shut himself up with the remains of 
his army; but finding, at length, when Caesar 
drew near, that there was no hope or possi- 
bility of making good his defense, and as his 
stem and indomitable spirit could not endure 
the thought of submission to one whom he 
considered as an enemy to bis country and a 
traitor, he resolved upon a very effectual mode 
of escaping from his conqueror's power. He 
feigned to abandon all hope of defending the 
city, and began to make arrangements to facili- 
tate the escape of his soldiers over the sea. 
He collected the vessels in the harbor, and 
allowed all to embark who were willing to take 
the risks of the stormy water. He took, ap- 
parently, great interest in the embarkations, 
and, when evening came on, he sent repeatedly 
down to the seaside to inquire about the state 
of the wind and the progress of the operations. 
At length he retired to his apartment, and, 
when all was quiet in the house, he lay down 
upon his bed and stabbed himself with his 
sword. He fell from the bed by the blow, or 
else from the effect of some convulsive motion 



CiESAR IMPERATOR. ISl 

which thet penetrating steel occasioned. His 
son and servants, hearing the fall, came rush- 
ing into the room, raised him from the floor, 
and attempted to bind up and stanch the 
wound. Cato would not permit them to do it. 
He resisted them violently as soon as he was 
conscious of what they intended. Finding 
that a struggle would only aggravate the hor- 
rors of the scene, and even hasten its termi- 
nation, they left the bleeding hero to his fate, 
and in a few minutes he died. 

The character of Cato, and the circumstances 
under which his suicide was committed, make 
it, on the whole, the most conspicuous act of 
suicide which history records; and the events 
which followed show in an equally conspicuous 
manner the extreme folly of the deed. In re- 
spect to its wickedness, Cato, not having had 
the light of Christianity before him, is to be 
leniently judged. As to the folly of the deed, 
however, he is to be held strictly accountable. 
If he had lived and yielded to his conqueror, 
as he might have done gracefully and without 
dishonor, since all his means of resistance 
were exhausted, Caesar would have treated him 
with generosity and respect, and would have 
taken him to Kome; and as within a year or 
two of this time Caesar himself was no more, 
Cato's vast influence and power might have 
been, and undoubtedly would have been, called 
most effectually into action for the benefit of 



192 JULIUS C.ESAR. 

his country. If any one, in defending Cato, 
should say he could not foresee this, we reply, 
he could have foreseen it; not the precise 
events, indeed, which occurred, but he could 
have foreseen that vast changes must take 
place, and new aspects of affairs arise, in which 
his powers would be called into requisition. 
We can always foresee in the midst of any 
storm, however dark and gloomy, that clear 
skies will certainly sooner or later come again ; 
and this is just as true metaphorically in re- 
spect to the vicissitudes of human life, as it is 
literally in regard to the ordinary phenomena 
of the skies. 

From Africa Caesar returned to Eome, and 
from Eome he went to subdue the resistance 
which was offered by the sons of Pompey in 
Spain. He was equally successful here. The 
oldest son was wounded in battle, and was car- 
ried off from the field upon a litter faint and 
almost dying. He recovered in some degree, 
and, finding escape from the eager pursuit of 
Caesar's soldiers impossible, he concealed 
himself in a cave, where he lingered for a little 
time in destitution and misery. He was dis- 
covered at last; his head was cut off by his 
captors and sent to Caesar, as his father's had 
been. The younger son succeeded in escap- 
ing, but he became a wretched fugitive and 
outlaw, and all manifestations of resistance to 
Caesar's sway disappeared from Spain. Thd 



Ci*;SAR IMPERATOR. 183 

conqueror returned to Eome the undisputed 
master of the whole Roman world. 

Then came his triumphs. Triumphs were 
great celebrations, by which military heroes 
in the days of the Eoman commonwealth sig- 
nalized their victories on their return to the 
city. Caesar's triumphs were four, one for 
each of his four great successful campaigns, 
viz., in Egypt, in Asia Minor, in Africa, and 
in Spain. Each was celebrated on a separate 
day, and there was an interval of several days 
between them to magnify their importance, 
and swell the general interest which they ex- 
cited among the vast population of the city. 
On one of these days, the triumphal car in 
which Caesar rode, which was most magnifi- 
cently adorned, broke down on the way, and 
Caesar was nearly thrown out of it by the 
shock. The immense train of cars, horses, 
elephants, flags, banners, captives, and tro- 
phies which formed the splendid procession was 
all stopped by the accident, and a considerable 
delay ensued. Night came on, in fact, before 
the column could again be put in motion to 
enter the city, and then Caesar, whose genius 
was never more strikingly shown than when he 
had opportunity to turn a calamity to advan- 
tage, conceived the idea of employing the forty 
elephants of the train as torchbearers ; the long 
procession accordingly advanced through the 
streets and ascended to the capitol, lighted by 



184 JULIUS C^SAR. 

the great blaziog flambeaus which the saga- 
cious and docile beasts were easily taught to 
bear, each elephant holding one in his pro- 
boscis, and waving it above the crowd around 
him. 

In these triumphal processions everything 
was borne in exhibition which could serve as a 
symbol of the conquered country or a trophy 
of victory. Flags and banners taken from the 
enemy ; vessels of gold and silver, and other 
treasures, loaded in vans; wretched captives 
conveyed in open carriages or marching sor- 
rowfully on foot, and destined, some of them, 
to public execution when the ceremony of the 
triumph was ended ; displays of arms, and im- 
plements, and dresses, and all else which might 
serve to give the Eoman crowd an idea of the 
customs and usages of the remote and con- 
quered nations ; the animals they used, capari- 
soned in the manner in which they used them : 
these, and a thousand other trophies and em- 
blems, were brought into the line to excite the 
admiration of the crowd, and to add to the gor- 
geousness of the spectacle. In fact, it was 
always a great object of solicitude and exertion 
with all the Eoman generals, when on distant 
and dangerous expeditions, to possess them- 
selves of every possible prize in the progress of 
their campaign which could aid in adding 
splendor to the triumph which was to signalize 
its end. 



CiESAR IMPERATOR. 185 

In these triumphs of Caesar, a young sister 
of Cleopatra was in the line of the Egyptian 
procession. In that devoted to Asia Minor 
was a great banner containing the words 
already referred to, Veni, Vidi, Vici. There 
were great paintings, too, borne aloft, repre- 
senting battles and other striking scenes. Of 
course, all Eome was in the highest state of 
excitement during the days of the exhibition of 
this pageantry. The whole surrounding coun- 
try flocked to the capital to witness it, and 
Caesar's greatness and glory were signalized in 
the most conspicuous manner to all mankind. 

After these triumphs, a series of splendid 
public entertainments were given, over, twenty 
thousand tables having been spread for the 
populace of the city. Shows of every possible 
character and variety were exhibited. There 
were dramatic plays, and equestrian preform- 
ances in the circus, and gladiatorial combats, 
and battles with wild beasts, and dances, and 
chariot races, and every other imaginable 
amusement which could be devised and car- 
ried into effect to gratif}- a population highly 
cultivated in all the arts of life, but barbarous 
and cruel in heart and character. Some of the 
accounts which have come down to u.s of the 
magnificence of the scale on which the.so enter- 
tainments were conducted are absolutely in- 
credible. It is said, for example, that an im- 
mense basin was constructed near the Tiber, 



186 JULIUS C^SAR. 

large enough to contain two fleets of galleys, 
which had on board two thousand rowers each, 
and one thousand fighting men. These fleets 
were then manned with captives, the one with 
Asiatics and the other with Egyptians, and 
when all was ready they were compelled to 
fight a real battle for the amusement of the 
spectators w^hich thronged the shores, until 
vast numbers w^ere killed, and the waters of 
the lake were dyed with blood. It is also said 
that the whole Forum, and some of the great 
streets in the neighborhood where the princi- 
pal gladiatorial shows were held, were covered 
with silken awnings to protect the vast crowds 
of spectators from the sun, and thousands of 
tents were erected to accommodate the jDeople 
from the surrounding country, whom the 
buildings of the city could not contain. 

All open opposition to Caesar's power and 
dominion now entirely disapi^eared. Even 
the Senate vied with the people in rendering 
him every possible honor. The supreme 
power had been hitherto lodged in the hands 
of two consuls, chosen annually, and the 
Boman people had been extremely jealous of 
any distinction for any one, higher than that 
of an elective annual office, with a return to 
private life again when the brief period should 
have expired. They now, however, made 
Cgesar, in the first place, consul for ten years, 
and then Perpetual Dictator. They conferred 



CESAR IMPERATOR. 187 

upon him the title of the Father of his Coun- 
try. The name of the month in which he was 
born was changed to Julius, from his praeno- 
men, and we still retain the name. He was 
made, also, commander-in-chief of -all the 
armies of the commonwealth, the title to 
which vast military power was expressed in 
the Latin language by the word Imjoerator, 

Caesar was highly elated with all these sub- 
stantial proofs of the greatness and glory to 
which he had attained, and was also very evi- 
dently gratified with smaller, but equally ex- 
pressive proofs of the general regard. Statues 
representing his person were placed in the 
IDublic edifices, and borne in processions like 
those of the gods. Conspicuous and splendidly 
ornamented seats were constructed for him in 
all the places of public assembly, and on these 
he sat to listen todebatesor witness spectacles, 
as if he were upon a throne. He had, either 
by his influence or by his direct power, the 
control of all the appointments to office, and 
was, in fact, in everything but the name, a 
sovereign and an absolute king. 

He began now to form great schemes of in- 
ternal imx)rovement for the general benefit of 
the empire. He wished to increase still more 
the great obligations which the Eoman jjeople 
were under to him for what he had already 
done. They really were under vast obliga- 
tions to him ; for, considering Eome as a com- 



188 JULIUS C^SAR. 

munity which was to subsist by goverDing the 
world, Caesar had immensely enlarged the 
means of its subsistence by establishing its 
sway everywhere, and providing for an incal- 
culable increase of its revenues from the tribute 
and the taxation of conquered provinces and 
kingdoms. Since this work of conquest was 
now completed, he turned his attention to the 
internal affairs of the empire, and made many 
improvements in the system of administration, 
looking carefully into everythinjj, and intro- 
ducing everywhere those exact and systematic 
principles which such a mind as his seeks in- 
Btinctively in everything over which it has any 
control. 

One great change which he effected continues 
in perfect operation throughout Europe to the 
present day. It related to the division of 
time. The system of months in use in his day 
corresponded so imperfectly with the annual 
circuit of the sun, that the months were mov- 
ing continually along the year in such a man- 
ner that the winter months came at length in 
the summer, and the summer months in the 
winter. This led to great practical inconve- 
niences; for whenever, for example, anything 
was required by law to be done in certain 
months, intending to have then] done in the 
summer, and the specified month came at 
length to be a winter month, the law would re- 
quire the thing to be done in exactly the 



CiESAR IMPERATOR. 180 

wrong season. Caesar remedied all this by 
adopting a new system of months, which 
should give three hundred and sixty -five days 
to the year for three years, and three hundred 
and sixty-six for the fourth ; and so exact was 
the system which he thus introduced, that it 
went on unchanged for sixteen centuries. The 
months were then found to be eleven days out 
of the way, when a new correction was intro- 
duced,* and it will now go on three thousand 
years before the error will amount to a single 
day. Caesar employed a Greek astronomer to 
arrange the system that he adopted ; and it was 
in part on account of the improvement which 
he thus effected that one of the months, as has 
already been mentioned, was called July. Its 
name before was Qumtilis. 

Caesar formed a great many other vast and 
magnificent schemes. He planned public 
buildings for the city, which were going to ex- 
ceed in magnitude and splendor all the edifices 
of the world. He commenced the collection 
of vast libraries, formed plans for draining the 
Pontine Marshes, for bringing great supplies 
of water into the city by an aqueduct, for cut- 
ting a new passage for the Tiber from Kome 
to the sea, and making an enormous artificial 
harbor at its mouth. He was going to make 

* By Pope Gregory XIII, at the time of the change from 
the old style to the new. 



190 JULIUS CiESAR. 

a road along the ApenDines, and cut a canal 
through the Isthmus of Corinth, and construct 
other vast works, which were to make Rome the 
center of the commerce of the world. In a 
word, his head was filled with the grandest 
schemes, and he was gathering around him all 
the means and resources necessary for the exe- 
cution of them. 



THE CONSPIRACY. 191 



CHAPTEK XI. 

THE CONSPIRACY. 

CiESAR*s greatness and glory came at last to 
a very sudden and violent end. He was assas- 
sinated. All the attendant circunastances of 
this deed, too, were of the most extraordinary 
character, and thus the dramatic interest which 
adorns all parts of the great conqueror's his- 
tory marks strikingly its end. 

His prosperity and power awakened, of 
course, a secret jealousy and ill. will. Those 
who were disappointed in their expectations of 
his favor murmured. Others, who had once 
been his rivals, hated him for having tri- 
umphed over them. Then there was a stern 
spirit of democracy, too, among certain classes 
of the citizens of Eome which could not brook 
a master. It is true that the sovereign power 
in t^e Koman commonwealth Lad never been 
shared by all the inhabitants. It was only in 
certain privileged classes that the sovereignty 
was vested; hut among these the functions of 
governmeit were divided and distributed in 
such a way as to balance one interest against 



192 JULIUS CiESAR. 

another, and ^o give all their proper share of 
influence and authority. Terrible struggles and 
conflicts often occurred among these various 
sections of society, as one or another attempted 
from time to time to encroach upon the rights 
or privileges of the rest. These struggles, 
however, ended usually in at last restoring 
again the equilibrium which had been dis- 
turbed. No one power could ever gain the en- 
tire ascendency ; and thus, as all monarchism 
seemed excluded from their system, they called 
it a republic. Caesar, however, had now con- 
centrated in himself all the principal elements 
of power, and there began to be suspicions 
that he wished to make himself in name and 
openly, as well as secretly and in fact, a king. 
The Romans abhorred the very name of 
king. They had had kings in the early 
periods of their history, but they made them- 
selves ociious by their pride and their oppres- 
sions, and the people had deposed and expelled 
them. The modern nations of Europe have 
several times performed the same exploit, but 
they have generally felt unprotected and ill at 
ease without a personal sovereign over them, 
and have accordingly, in most cases, after a 
few years, restored some branch of the expelled 
dynasty to the throne. The Romans were 
more persevering and firm. They had man- 
aged their empire now for five hundred years 
as a republic, and though they had had internal 



THE CONSPIRACY. 193 

dissensions^ conflicts, and quarrels without 
end, bad persisted so firmly and unanimously 
in theJr detestation of all regal authority, that 
no one of the long line of ambitious and power- 
ful statesmen, generals, or conquerors by which 
the history of the empire had been signalized, 
had ever dared to aspire to the name of king. 

There began, however, soon to appear some 
indications that Ciesar, who certainly now 
possessed regal power, would like the regal 
name. Ambitious men, in such cases, do not 
directly assume themselves the titles and 
symbols of royalty. Others make the claim 
for them, while they faintly disavow it, till 
they have opportunity to see what effect the 
idea produces on the public mind. The fol- 
lowing incidents occurred which it was thought 
indicated such a design on the part of Caesar. 

There were in some of the public buildings 
certain statues of kings ; for it must be under- 
stood that the Eoman dislike to kings was only 
a dislike to having kingly authority exercised 
over themselves. They respected and some- 
times admired the kings of other countries, 
and honored their exploits, and made statues 
to commemorate their fame. They were will- 
ing that kings should reign elsewhere, so long 
as there were no king of Kome. The Ameri- 
can feeling at the present day is much the 
same. If the Queen of England were to make 
a progress through this country, she would re- 



194 JULIUS C^SAR. ^ 

ceive- perhaps, as many and as striking marks 
of attention and honor as would be rendered to 
her in her own realm. We venerate the anti- 
quity of her royal line ; we admire the effi- 
ciency of her government and the sublime 
grandeur of her empire, and have as high an 
idea as any of the powers and prerogatives of 
her crown — and these feelings would show 
themselves most abundantly on any proper 
occasion. We are willing, nay, wish that she 
should continue to reign over Englishmen; 
and yet, after all, it would take some millions 
of bayonets to place a queen securely upon a 
throne over this land. 

Regal power was accordingly, in the abstract, 
looked up to at Eome, as it is elsewhere, with 
great respect; and it was, in fact, all the more 
tempting as an object of ambition, from the 
determination felt by the people that it should 
not be exercised there. , There were, accord- 
ingly, statues of kings at Rome. Caesar placed 
his own statue among them. Some approved, 
others murmured. 

There was a public theater in the city, 
where the officers of the government were ac- 
customed to sit in honorable seats prepared 
expressly for them, those of the Senate being 
higher and more distinguished than the rest. 
Caesar had a seat prepared for himself there, 
similar in form to a throne, and adorned it 
magnificently with gilding and ornaments ol 



THE CONSPIRACY. 195 

gold, which gave it the entire pre-eminence 
over all the other seats. 

He had a similar throne placed in the senate 
chamber, to be occupied by himself when at- 
tending there, like the throne of the King of 
England in the House of Lords. 

He held, moreover, a great many public cele- 
brations and triumphs in the city in commem- 
oration of his exploits and honors; and, on 
one of these occasions, it was arranged that 
the Senate were to come to him at a temple in 
a body and announce to him certain decrees 
which they had passed to his honor. Yast 
crowds had assembledto witness the ceremony. 
Caesar was seated in a magnificent chair, which 
might have been called either a chair or a 
throne, and was surrounded by officers and at- 
tendants. When the Senate approached, Caesar 
did not rise to receive them, but remained 
seated, like a monarch receiving a deputation 
of his subjects. The incident would not seem 
to be in itself of any great importance, but, 
considered as an indication of Caesar's designs, 
it attracted great attention, and produced a 
very general excitement. The act was adroitly 
managed so as to be somewhat equivocal in its 
character, in order that it might be represented 
one way or the other on the following day, ac- 
cording as the indications of public sentiment 
might incline. Some said that Caesar was in- 
tending to rise, but was prevented, and held 



196 JULIUS Ci^SAR. 

down by those who stood around him. Others 
said that an offit^er motioned to him to rise, but 
he rebuked his interference by a frown, and 
continued his seat. Thus while, in fact, he 
received the Eoman Senate as their monarch 
and sovereign, his own intentions and designs 
in so doing were left somewhat in doubt, in 
order to avoid awakening a sudden and violent 
opposition. 

Not long after this, as he was returning in 
public from some great festival, the streets 
being full of crowds, and the populace follow- 
ing him in great throngs with loud acclama- 
tions, a man went up to his statue as he passed 
it, and placed upon the head of it a laurel 
crown, fastened with a white ribbon, which 
was a badge of royalty. Some officers ordered 
the ribbon to be taken down, and sent the man 
to prison. Caesar was very much displeased 
with the officers, and dismissed them from 
their offioe. He wished, he said, to have the 
opportunity to disavow, himself, such claims, 
and not to have others disavow them for him. 

Caesar's disavowals were, however, so faint, 
and people had so little confidence in their 
sincerity, that the cases became more and more 
frequent in which the titles and symbols of 
royalty were connected with his name. The 
people who wished to gain his favor saluted 
him in public with the name of Rex^ the Latin 
word for king. He replied that his name was 



THE CONSPIRACY. 197 

Caesar, not Rex, showing, however, no other 
signs of displeasure. On one great occasion, 
a high public officer, a near relative of his, re- 
peatedly placed a diadem upon hia head, Caesar 
himself, as often as he did it, gently putting 
it off. At last he sent the diadem away to a 
temple that was near, saying that there was no 
king in Kome but Jupiter. In a word, all his 
conduct indicated that he wished to have it 
appear that the people were pressing the crown 
upon him, when he himself was steadily 
refusing it. 

This state of things produced a very strong 
and universal, though suppressed excitement 
in the city. Parties were formed. Some began 
to be willing to make Caesar king ; others were 
determined to hazard their lives to prevent it. 
None dared, however, openly to utter their 
sentiments on either side. They expressed 
them by mysterious looks and dark intima- 
tions. At the time when Caesar refused to rise 
to receive the Senate, many of the members 
withdrew in silence, and with looks of offended 
dignity. When the crown was placed upon 
his statue or upon his own brow, a portion of 
the populace would applaud with loud acclama- 
tions ; and whenever he disavowed these acts, 
either by words or counter-actions of his own, 
an equally loud acclamation would arise from 
the other side. On the whole, however, the 
idea that Caesar was gradually advancing to- 



198 JULIUS CAESAR. 

ward the kingdom steadily gained ground. 
And yet Caesar himself spoke frequently 
with great humility in respect to his preten- 
sions and claims; and when he found public 
sentiment turning against the ambitious 
schemes he seems secretly to have cherished, 
he would present some excuse or explanation 
for his conduct plausible enough to answer the 
purpose of a disavowal. When he received 
the Senate, sitting like a king, on the occasion 
before referred to, when they read to him the 
decrees which they had passed in his favor, 
he replied to them that there was more need of 
diminishing the public honors which he re- 
ceived than of increasing them. When he 
found, too, how much excitement his conduct 
on that occasion had produced, he explained it 
by saying that he had retained his sitting pos- 
ture on account of the infirmity of his health, 
as it made him dizzy to stand. He thought, 
probably, that these pretexts would tend to 
quiet the strong and turbulent spirits around 
him, from whose envy or rivalry he had most 
to fear, without at all interfering with the 
effect which the act itself would have produced 
upon the masses of the population. He 
wished, in a word, to accustom them to see 
him assume the position and the bearing of a 
sovereign, while, by his apparent humility in 
his intercourse with those immediately around 
him, he avoided as much as possible irritating 



THE CONSPIRACY. 199 

and arousing the jealous and watchful rivals 
who were next to him in power. 

If this were his plan, it seemed tq be ad- 
vancing prosperously toward its accomplish- 
ment. The population of the city seemed to 
become more and more familiar with the idea 
that Caesar was about to become a king. The 
opposition which the idea had at first awak- 
ened appeared to subside, or, at least, the 
public expression of it, which daily became 
more and more determined and dangerous, was 
restrained. At length the time arrived when 
it appeared safe to introduce the subject to the 
Eoman Senate. This, of course, was a hazard- 
ous experiment. It was managed, however, in 
a very adroit and ingenious manner. 

There were in Kome, and, in fact, in many 
other cities and countries of the world in those 
days, a variety of prophetic books, called the 
Sibylline Oracles, in which it was generally 
believed that future events were foretold. 
Some of these volumes or rolls, which were 
very ancient and of great authority, were pre- 
served in the temples at Rome, under the 
charge of a board of guardians, who v>'ere to 
keep them with the utmost care, and to consult 
them on great occasions, in order to discover 
beforehand what would be the result of public 
measures or great enterprises which were in 
contemplation. It happened that at this time 
the Eomans were engaged in a war with the 



200 JULIUS CiESAR. 

Partliians, a very wealthy and powerful nation 
of Asia. Caesar was making preparations for 
an expedition to the East to attempt to subdue 
this people. He gave orders that the Sibylline 
Oracles should be consulted. The proper 
officers, after consulting them with the usual 
solemn ceremonies, reported to the Senate that 
they found it recorded in these sacred proph- 
ecies that the Parthians could not be con- 
quered except by a king. A senator proposed, 
therefore, that, to meet the emergency, Caesar 
should be made king during the war. There 
was at first no decisive action on this proposal. 
It was dangerous to express any opinion. 
People were thoughtful, serious, and silent, 
as on the eve of some great convulsion. No 
one knew what others were meditating, and 
thus did not dare to express his own wishes or 
designs. There soon, however, was a prevail- 
ing understanding that Caesar's friends were 
determined on executin^j; the design of crown- 
ing him, and that the fifteenth of March, 
called, in their phraseology, the Ides of March 
was fixed upon as the coronation day. 

In the meantime, Caesar's enemies, though 
to all outward appearance quiet and calm, had 
not been inactive. Finding that his plans 
were now ripe for execution, and that they had 
no open means of resisting them, they formed 
a conspiracy to assassinate Caesar himself, and 
thus bring his ambitious scheme;! to an effectual 



THE CONSPIRACY. 201 

and final end. The name of the original leader 
of this conspiracy was Cassius. 

Cassius had been for a long time Caesar's 
personal rival and enemy. He was a man of a 
very violent and ardent temperament, impet- 
uous and fearless, very fond of exercising 
power himself, but very restless and uneasy in 
having it exercised over him. He had all the 
Roman repugnance to being under the authority 
of a master, with an additional personal deter- 
mination of his own not to submit to Caesar. 
He determined to slay Caesar rather than to 
allow him to be made a king, and he went to 
work, with great caution, to bring other lead- 
ing and influential men to join him in this de- 
termination. Some of those to whom he ap- 
plied said that they would unite with him in 
his plot provided he would get Marcus Brutus 
to join them. 

Brutus was the praetor of the city. The 
praetorship of the city was a very high muni- 
cipal office. The conspirators wished to have 
Brutus join them partly on account of his 
station as a magistrate, as if they supposed 
that by having the highest public magistrate of 
the city for their leader in the deed, the de- 
struction of their victim would appear less 
like a murder, and would be invested, instead, 
in some respects, with the sanctions and with 
the dignity of an official execution. 

Then, again, they wished for the moral sup- 



202 JULIUS CESAR. 

port which would be afforded them in their 
desperate enterprise by Brutus' extraordinary 
personal character. He was younger than 
Cassius, but he was grave, thoughtful, taci- 
turn, calm — a man of inflexible integrity, of 
the coolest determination, and, at the same 
time, of the most undaunted courage. The 
conspirators distrusted one another, for the 
resolution of impetuous men is very apt to fail 
when the emergency arrives which puts it to 
the test; but as for Brutus, they knew very 
well that whatever he undertook he would most 
certainly do. 

There was a great deal even in his name. 
It was a Brutus that five centuries before had 
been the mam instrument of the expulsion of 
the Roman kings. He had secretly meditated 
the design, and, the better to conceal it, had 
feigned idiocy, as the story was, that he might 
iiot be watched or suspected until the favorable 
hour for executing his design should arrive. 
He therefore ceased to speak, and seemed to 
lose his reason ; he wandered about the city 
silent and gloomy, like a brute. His name 
had been Lucius Junius before. They added 
Brutus now, to designate his condition. When 
at last, however, the crisis arrived which he 
judged favorable for the expulsion of the 
kings, he suddenly reassumed his speech and 
his reason, called the astonished Eomans to 
arms, and triumphantly accomplished hi^ (Je* 



THE CONSPIRACY. 203 

sign His name and memory had been cher- 
ished ever since that day as of a great deliverer. 

They, therefore, who looked upon Caesar aa 
another king, naturally turned 1;heir thoughts 
to the Brutus of their day, hoping to find in 
Jaim another deliverer. Brutus found, from 
time to time, inscriptions on his ancient name- 
sake's statue expressing the wish that he were 
now alive. He also found each morning, as 
he came to the tribunal where he was accus- 
tomed to sit in the discharge of the duties of 
his office, brief writings, which had been left 
there during the night, in which few words 
expressed deep meaning, such ap "Awake, 
Brutus, to thy duty;" and "Art thou indeed a 
Brutus?" 

Still it seemed hardly probable that Brutus 
could be led to take a decided stand against 
Caesar, for they had been warm personal friends 
ever since the conclusion of the civil wars. 
Brutus had, indeed, been on Pompey's side 
while that general lived; he fought with him 
at the battle of Pharsalia, but he had been 
taken prisoner there, and Caesar, instead of 
executing him as a traitor, as most victorious 
generals in a civil war would have done, 
spared his life, forgave him for his hostility, 
received him into his own service, and after- 
ward raised him to very high and honorable 
stations. He gave him the government of the 
richest province, and, after his return from it, 



204 JULIUS Ci^SAR, 

loaded with wealth and honors, he made him 
praetor of the city. In a word, it would seem 
that he had done everything which it was pos- 
sible to do to make him one of his most trust- 
worthy and devoted friends. The inm, there- 
fore, to whom Cassius first applied, perhaps 
thought that they were very safe in saying that 
they would unite in the intended conspiracy if 
he would get Brutus to join them. 

They expected Cassius himself to make the 
attempt to secure the co-operation of Brutus, 
as Cassius was on terms of intimacy with him 
on account of a family connection. Cassius' 
wife was the sister of Brutus. This had made 
the two men intimate associates and warm 
friends in former years, though they had been 
recently somewhat estranged from each other 
on account of having been competitors for the 
same ofiijes and honors. In these contests 
Caesar had decided in favor of Brutus. ''Cas- 
sius," said he, on one such occasion, ''gives 
the best reasons ; but I cannot refuse Brutus 
anything he asks for." In fact, Caesar had 
conceived a strong personal friendship for 
Brutus, and believed him to be entirely devoted 
to his cause. 

Cassius, however, sought an interview with 
Brutus, with a view of engaging him in his 
design. He easily effected his own reconcilia- 
tion with him, as he had himself been the 
offended party in their estrangement from each 



THE CONSPIRACY. 205 

other. He asked Brutus whether he intended to 
be present in the Senate on the Ides of March, 
when the friends of Caesar, as was understood, 
were intending to present him with the crown. 
Brutus said he should not be there. "But 
suppose," said Cassius, "we are specially 
summoned." **Then, " said Brutus, " I shall 
go, and shall be ready to die if necessary to 
defend the liberty of my country." 

Cassius then assured Brutus that there were 
many other Roman citizens, of the highest 
rank, who were animated by the same determi- 
nation, and that they all looked up to him to 
lead and direct them in the work which it was 
now very evident must be done. ''Men look,' 
said Cassius, ''to other praetors to entertain 
them with games, spectacles, and shows, but 
they have very different ideas in respect to 
you. Your character, your name, your posi- 
tion, your ancestry, and the course of conduct 
which you have already always pursued, in- 
spire the whole city with the hope that you 
are to be their deliverer. The citizens are all 
ready to aid you, and to sustain you at the 
hazard of their lives; but they look to you to 
go forward, and to act in their name and in 
their behalf, in the crisis which is now ap- 
proaching. " 

Men of a very calm exterior are often sus- 
ceptible of the profoundest agitations within, 
the emotions seeming to be sometimea all the 



206 JULIUS CiESAR. 

more permanent and uncontrollable from the 
absence of outward display. Brutus said 
little, but his soul was excited and fired by 
Cassius' words. There was a struggle in his 
soul between his grateful sense of his political 
obligations to Caesar and his personal attach- 
ment to him on the one hand, and, on the other, 
a certain stern Roman conviction that every- 
thing should be sacrificed, even friendship and 
gratitude, as well as fortune and life, to the 
welfare of his country. He acceded to the 
plan, and began forthwith to enter upon the 
necessary measures for putting it into execu- 
tion. 

There was a certain general, named Ligurius, 
who had been in Pompey's army, and whose 
hostility to Caesar had never been really sub- 
dued. He was now sick. Brutus went to see 
him. He found him in his bed. The excite- 
ment in Eome was so intense, though the ex- 
pressions of it were suppressed and restrained, 
that every one was expecting continually some 
great event, and every motion and look was 
interpreted to have some deep meaning. Lig- 
urius read in the countenance of Brutus as he 
approached his bedside, that he had not come 
on any trifling errand. **Ligurius," said 
Brutus, *'thisisnot a time for you to be sick.'* 

* 'Brutus,*' replied Ligurius, rising at once 
from his couch, **if you have any enterprise 
in mind that is worthy of you, I am well." 



THE CONSPIRACY. 207 

Brutus explained to the sick man their design, 
and he entered into it with ardor. The plan 
was divulged to one after another of such men 
as the conspirators supposed most worthy of 
confidence in such a desperate undertaking, 
and meetings for consultation were held to 
determine what plan to adopt for finally ac- 
complishing their end. It was agreed that 
Caesar must be slain; but the time, the place, 
and the manner in which the deed should be 
performed were all yet undecided. Various 
plans were proposed in the consultations which 
the conspirators held; but there was one thing 
peculiar to them all, which was, that they did 
not any of them contemplate or provide for 
any thing like secrecy in the commission of 
the deed. It was to be performed in the most 
open and public manner. With a stern and 
undaunted boldness, which has always been 
considered by mankind as truly sublime, they 
determined that, in respect to the actual exe- 
cution itself of the solemn judgment which 
they had pronounced, there should be nothing 
private or concealed. They thought over the 
various public situations in which they might 
find Caesar, and where they might strike him 
down, only to select the one which would be 
most public of all. They kept, of course, their 
preliminary counsels private, to prevent the 
adoption of measures for counteracting them; 
but they were to perform the deed in such a 



208 JULIUS CESAR. 

manner as that, so soon as it was performed, 
they should stand out to view, exposed fully to 
the gaze of all mankind as the authors of it. 
They planned no retreat, no concealment, no 
protection whatever for themselves, seeming to 
feel that the deed which they were about to 
perform, of destroying the master and monarch 
of the world, was a deed in its own nature so 
grand and sublime as to raise the perpetrators 
of it entirely above all considerations relating 
to their own personal safety. Their plan, 
therefore, was to keep their consultations and 
arrangements secret until they were prepared 
to strike the blow, then to strike it in the most 
public and imposing manner possible, and 
calmly afterward to await the consequences. 

In this view of the subject, they decided 
that the chamber of the Roman Senate was the 
proper place, and the Ides of March, the day 
on which he was appointed to be crowned, was 
the proper time for Caesar to be slain. 



THE ASSASSINATION. 209 



CHAPTEE XII. 

THE ASSASSINATION. 

According to the account given by his his- 
torians, Caesar received many warnings of his 
approaching fate, which, however, he would 
not heed. Many of these warnings were strange 
portents and prodigies, which the philosophi- 
cal writers who recorded them half believed 
themselves, and which they were always ready 
to add to their narratives, even if they did not 
believe them, on account of the great influence 
which such an introduction of the supernatural 
and the divine had with readers in those days 
in enhancing the dignity and the dramatic in- 
terest of the story. These warnings were as 
follows : 

At Capua, which was a great city at some 
distance south of Kome, the second, in fact, in 
Italy, and the one which Hannibal had pro- 
posed to make his capital, some workmen were 
removing certain ancient sepulchers to make 
room for the foundations of a splendid edifice 
which, among his other plans for the embel- 
lishment of the cities of Italy, Caesar was in- 



210 ' JULIUS CiESAR. 

tending to have erected there. As the excava- 
tions advanced, the workmen came at last to an 
ancient tomb, which proved to be that of the 
original founder of Capua; and, in bringing 
out the sarcophagus, they found an inscrip- 
tion, worked upon a brass plate, and in the 
Greek character, predicting that if those re- 
mains were ever disturbed, a great member of 
the Julian family would be assassinated by his 
own friends, and his death would be followed 
by extended devastations throughout all Italy. 

The horses, too, with which Caesar had passed 
the Eubicon, and which had been, ever since 
that time, living in honorable retirement in a 
splendid park which Caesar had provided for 
them, by some mysterious instinct, or from 
some divine communication, had warning of 
the approach of their great benefactor's end. 
They refused their food, and walked about with 
melancholy and dejected looks, mourning ap- 
parently, and in a manner almost human, some 
impending grief. 

There was a class of prophets in those days 
called by a name which has been translated 
soothsayers. These soothsayers were able, as 
was supposed, to look somewhat into futurity 
— dimly and doubtfully, it is true, but ^really, 
by means of certain appearances exhibited by 
the bodies of the animals offered in sacrifices. 
These soothsayers were consulted on all im- 
portant occasions \ and if the auspices proved 



THE ASSASSINATION, ^11 

unfavorable when any great enterprise was 
about to be undertaken, it was often, on that 
account, abandoned or postponed. One of 
these soothsayers, named Spurinna, came to 
Caesar one day, and informed him that he had 
found, by means of a public sacrifice which he 
had just been offering, that there was a great 
and mysterious danger impending over him, 
which was connected in some way with the 
Ides of March, and he counseled him to be 
particularly cautious and circumspect until that 
day should have passed. 

The Senate were to meet on the Ides of 
March in a new and splendid edifice, which 
had been erected for their use by Pompey. 
There was in the interior of the building, 
among other decorations, a statue of Pompey. 
The day before the Ides of March, some birds of 
prey from a neighboring grove came flying into 
this hall, pursuing a little wren with a si)rig 
of laurel in its mouth. The birds tore the 
wren to pieces, the laurel dropping from its 
bill to the marble pavement of the floor below. 
Now, as Caesar had been always accustomed to 
wear a crown of laurel on great occasions, and 
had always evinced a particular fondness for 
that decoration, that plant had come to be 
considered his own proper badge, and the fall 
of the laurel, therefore, was naturally thought 
to protend some great calamity to him. 

The night before the Ides of March Caesar 



212 JULIUS C.Z&SAR. 

could not sleep. It would not seem, however, 
to be necessary to suppose anything super- 
natural to account for his wakefulness. He 
lay upon his bed restless and excited, or if he 
fell into a momentary slumber, his thoughts, 
instead of finding repose, were only plunged 
into greater agitations, produced by strange, 
and, as he thought, supernatural dreams. Ha 
imagined that he ascended into the skies, and 
was received there by Jupiter, the supreme 
divinity, as an associate and equal. While 
shaking hands with the great father of gods 
and men, the sleeper was startled by a frightful 
sound. He awoke, and found his wife Cal- 
pnrnia groaning and struggling in her sleep. 
He saw her by the moonlight which was shin- 
ing into the room. He spoke to her, and 
aroused her. After staring wildly for a 
moment till she had recovered her thoughts, she 
said that she had had a dreadful dream. She 
had dreamed that the roof of the house had 
fallen in, and that, at the same instant, the 
doors had been burst open, and some robber 
or assassin had stabbed her husband as he was 
lying in her arms. The philosophy of those 
days found in these dreams mysterious and 
preternatural warnings of impending danger; 
that of ours, however, sees nothing either in 
the absurd sacrilegiousness of Caesar's 
thoughts, or his wife's incoherent and incon- 
sistent images of terror — nothing more than the 



THE ASSASSINATION. 213 

natural and proper effects, on the one hand, of 
the insatiable arobition of man, and, on the 
other, of the conjugal affection and solicitude of 
woman. The ancient sculptors carved out 
images of men, by the forms and lineaments 
of which we see that the physical characteris- 
tics of humanity have not changed. History 
seems to do the same with the affections and 
pasr.ioDS of the soul. The dreams of Caesar 
and his wife on the night before the Ides of 
March, as thus recorded, form a sort of spirit- 
ual statue, which remains from generation to 
generation, to show us how precisely all the 
inward workings of human nature are from age 
to age the same. 

When the morning came Caesar and Calpurnia 
arose, both restless and ill at ease. Caesar 
ordered the auspices to be consi-Ued with refer- 
ence to the intended proceedings of the day. 
The soothsayers came in in due time, and re- 
ported that the result was unfavorable. Cal- 
purnia, too, earnestly entreated her husband 
not to go to the senate-house that day. She 
had a very strong presentiment that, if he did 
go, sfnie great calamity would ensue. CaGsar 
himself hesitated. He was half inclined to 
yield, and postpone his coronation to another 
occasion. 

In the course of the day, while Caesar was 
in this state of doubt and uncertainty, one of 
the conspirators, named Decimus Brutus, came 



214 JULIUS C^SAR. 

in. This Brutus was not a man of any extra- 
ordinary courage of energy, but he had been 
invited by the other conspirators to join them, 
on account of his having under his charge a 
large number of gladiators, who, being des- 
perate and reckless men, would constitute a 
very suitable armed force for them to call in to 
their aid in case of any emergency arising 
which should require it. 

The conspirators having thus all their plans 
arranged, Decimus Brutus was commissioned 
to call at Caesar's house when the time ap- 
proached for the assembling of the Senate, 
both to avert suspicion from Caesar's mind, and 
to assure himself that nothing had been dis- 
covered. It was in the afternoon, the time for 
the meeting of the senators having been fixed 
at 5 o'clock. Decimus Brutus found Caesar 
troubled and perplexed, and uncertain what to 
do. After hearing what he had to say, he re- 
plied by urging him to go by all means to the 
senate-house, as he had intended. **You have 
formally called the Senate together," said he, 
**and they are now assembling. They are all 
prepared to confer upon you the rank and title 
of king, not only in Parthia, while you are 
conducting this war, but everywhere, by sea 
and land, except in Italy. And now, while 
they are all in their places, waiting to consuna- 
mate the great act, how absurd will it be for 
you to send them word to go home again, and 



THE ASSASSINATION, 215 

come back some other day, when Calpurnia 
shall have had better dreams!" 

He urged, too, that, even if Caesar was deter- 
mined to put off the action of the Senate to 
another day, he was imperiously bound to go 
himself and adjourn the session in person. 
So saying, he took the hesitating potentate hj 
the arm, and adding to his arguments a little 
gentle force, conducted him along. 

The conspirators supposed that all was safe. 
The fact was, however, that all had been dis- 
covered. There was a certain Greek, a teacher 
of oratory, named Artemidorus. He had con- 
trived to learn something of the plot from some 
of the conspirators who were his pupils. He 
wrote a brief statement of the leading particu- 
lars, and, having no other mode of access to 
Caesar, he determined to hand it to him on the 
way as he went to the senate-house. Of 
course, the occasion was one of great public 
interest, and crowds had assembled in the 
streets to see the great conqueror as he went 
along. As usual at such times, when power- 
ful officers of state appear in public, many 
people came up to present petitions to him as 
he passed. These he received, and handed 
them without reading to his secretary who at- 
tended him as if to have them preserved for 
future examination. Artemidorus, who was 
waiting for his opportunity, when he perceived 
what disposition Caesar made of the papers 



216 JULIUS C^SAR. 

which were given to him, began to be afraid 
that his own communication would not be at- 
tended to until it was too late. He accordingly 
pressed up near to Caesar, refusing to allow any- 
one else to pass the paper in ; and when, at 
last, he obtained an opportunity, he gave it 
directly into Caesar's hands, saying to him, 
**Bead this immediately: it concerns yourself 
and is of the utmost importance." 

Caesar took the paper and attempted to read 
it, but new petitions and other interruptions 
constantly prevented him; finally he gave up 
the attempt, and went on his way, receiving 
and passing to his secretary all other papers, 
but retaining this paper of Artemidorus in his 
hand. 

Caesar passed Spurinna on his way to the 
senate-house — the soothsayer who had pre- 
dicted some great danger connected with the 
Ides of March. As soon as he recognized 
him, he accosted him with the words, "Well, 
Spurinna, the Ides of March have come, and I 
am safe." 

"Yes," replied Spurinna, "they have come, 
but they are not yet over." 

At length he arrived at the senate-house, 
with the paper of Artemidorus still unread in 
his hand. The senators were all convened, 
the leading conspirators among them. They 
all rose to receive Caesar as he entered. Caesar 
advanced to the seat provided for him, and, 



THE ASSASSINATION. 217 

when he was seated, the senators themselves 
sat down. The moment had now arrived, and 
the conspirators, with pale looks and beating 
hearts, felt that now or never the deed was to 
be done. 

It requires a very considerable degree of 
physical courage and hardihood for men to 
come to a calm and deliberate decision that 
they will kill one whom they hate, and, still 
more, actually to strike the blow, even wiien 
under the immediate impulse of passion. But 
men who are perfectly capable of either of 
these often find their resolution fail them as 
the time comes for striking a dagger into the 
living fiesh of their victim, when he sits at 
ease and unconcerned before them, unarmed 
and defenseless, and doing nothing to excite 
those feelings of irritation and anger which 
are generally found so necessary to nerve the 
human arm to such deeds. Utter defenseless- 
ness is accordingly, sometimes, a greater pro- 
tection than an armor of steel. 

Even Cassius himself, the originator and the 
soul of the whole enterprise, found his courage 
hardly adequate to the work now that the 
moment had arrived ; and, in order to arouse 
the necessary excitement in his soul, he looked 
up to the statue of Pompey, Caesar's ancient 
and most formidable enemy, and invoked its 
aid. It gave him its aid. It inspired him 
with some portion of the enmity with which 



218 JULIUS CiESAR. 

the soul of its great original had burned ; and 
thus the soul of the living assassin was nerved 
to its work by a sort of sympathy with a block 
of stone. 

Foreseeing the necessity of something like 
a stimulus to action when the immediate 
moment for action should arrive, the conspira- 
tors had agreed that, as soon as Caesar was 
seated, they would approach him with a peti- 
tion, which he would probably refuse, and 
then, gathering around him, they would urge 
him with their importunities, so as to produce, 
in the confusion, a sort of excitement that 
would make it easier for them to strike the 
blow. 

There was one person, a relative and friend 
of Caesar's, named Marcus Antonius, called 
commonly, however, in English narratives, 
Marc Antony, the same who has been already 
mentioned as having been subsequently con- 
nected with Cleopatra. He was a very ener- 
getic and determined man, who, they thought, 
might possibly attempt to defend him. To 
prevent this, one of the conspirators had been 
designated to take him aside, and occupy his 
attention with some pretended subject of dis- 
course, ready, at the same time, to resist and 
prevent his interference if he should show him- 
self inclined to offer any. 

Things being thus arranged, the petitioner, 
as had been agreed, advanced to Caesar with 



THE ASSASSINATION. 219 

his petition, others coming up at the same time 
as if to second the request. The object of the 
petition was to ask for the pardon of the 
brother of one of the conspirators. Caesar de- 
clined granting it. The others then crowded 
around him, urging him to grant the request 
with pressing importunities, all apparently re- 
luctant to strike the first blow. Caesar began 
to be alarmed, and attempted to repel them. 
One of them then pulled down his robe from 
his neck to lay it bare. Caesar arose, exclaim- 
ing : "But this is violence." At the same in- 
stant, one of the conspirators struck at him 
w^ith his sword, and wounded him slightly in 
the neck. 

AH was now terror, outcry, and confusion. 
Cffisar had no time to draw his sword, but 
fought a moment with his style, a sharp in- 
strument of iron with which they wrote, in 
those days, on waxen tablets, and which he 
happened then to have in his hand. With 
this instrument he ran one of his enemies 
through the arm. 

This resistance was just what was necessary 
to excite the conspirators, and give them the 
requisite resolution to finish their work. 
Csesar soon saw the swords, accordingly, 
gleaming all around him, and thrusting them- 
selves at him on every side. The senators rose 
in confusion and dismay, perfectly thunder- 
struck at the sceae, acd fiot kaowiag what to 



220 JULIUS CESAR. 

do. Antony perceived that all resistance on 
his part would be unavailing, and accordingly 
did Hot attempt any. Caesar defended himself 
alone for a few minutes as well as he could, 
looking all around him in vain for help, and 
retreating at the same time toward the pedestal 
of Pompey's statue. At length, when he saw 
Brutus among his murderers, he exclaimed : 
*'And you too, Brutus?" and seemed from 
that moment to give up in despair. He drew 
his robe over his face, and soon fell under the 
wounds which he received. His blood ran out 
upon the pavement at the foot of Pompey's 
statue, as if his death were a sacrifice offered 
to appease his ancient enemy's revenge. 

In the midst of the scene Brutus made an 
attempt to address the senators, and to vindi- 
cate what they had done, but the confusion 
and excitement were so great that it was im- 
possible that anything could be heard. The 
senators were, in fact, rapidly leaving the 
place, going off in every direction, and spead- 
ing the tidings over the city. The event, of 
course, produced universal commotion. The 
citizens began to close their shops, and some 
to barricade their houses, while others hurried 
to and fro about the streets, anxiously inquir- 
ing for intelligence, and wondering what dread- 
ful event was next to be expected. Antony and 
Lepidus, who were Caesar's two most faithful 
and influential friends, not knowing how ex- 



THE ASSASSINATION. 221 

tensive the conspiracy might be, nor how far 
the hostility to Caesar and his party might ex- 
tend, fled, and, not daring to go to their own 
houses, lest the assassins or their confederates 
might pursue them there, sought concealment 
in the houses of friends on whom they sup- 




Pompey'8 Statue, 

posed they could rely, and who were willing to 
receive them. 

In the meantime, the conspirators, glorying 
in the deed which they had perpetrated, and 
congratulating each other on the successful 
issue of their enterprise, sallied forth together 
from the senate-house, leaving the body of 



222 JULIUS C^SAR. 

their victim weltering in its blood, and 
marcbed, with drawn swords in their hands, 
along the streets from the senate-house to the 
capitol. Brutus went at the head of them, 
preceded by a liberty cap borne upon the point 
of a spear, and with his bloody dagger in his 
hand. The capitol was the citadel, built mag- 
nificently upon the Capitoline Hill, and sur- 
rounded by temples, and other sacred and civil 
edifices, which made the spot the architectural 
wonder of the world. As Brutus and his com- 
pany proceeded thither, they announced to the 
citizens, as they went along, the great deed of 
deliverance which they had wrought out for 
the country. Instead of seeking concealment, 
they gloried in the work which they had done, 
and they so far succeeded in inspiring others 
with a portion of their enthusiasm, that some 
men who had really taken no part in the deed 
joined Brutus and his company in their march, 
to obtain by stealth a share in the glory. 

The body of Caosar lay for some time un- 
heeded where it had fallen, the attention of 
every one being turned to the excitement, which 
was extending through the city, and to the ex- 
pectation of other great events which might 
suddenly develop themselves in other quarters 
of Kome. There were left only three of Cae- 
sar's slaves, who gathered around the body to 
look at the wounds. They counted them, and 
found the number twenty -three. It shows, 



THE ASSASSINATION. 223 

however, how strikingly, and with what reluct- 
ance, the actors in this tragedy came up to 
their work at last, that of all these twenty-three 
wounds only one was a mortal one. In fact, 
it is probable that, while all of the conspirators 
struck the victim in their turn, to fulfill the 
pledge which they had given to one another 
that they would everyone inflict a wound, each 
one hoped tha^^ the fatal blow would be given, 
after all, by some other hand than his own. 

At last the slaves decided to convey the body 
home. They obtained a sort of chair, which 
was made to be borne by poles, and placed the 
body upon it. Then, lifting at the three 
handles, and allowing the fourth to hang un- 
supported for want of a man, they bore the 
ghastly remains home to the distracted Cal- 
purnia. 

The next day Brutus and his associates called 
an assembly of the people in the Forum, and 
made an address to them, explaining the 
motives which had led them to the commission 
of the deed, and vindicating the necessity and 
the justice of it. The people received these 
explanations in silence. They expressed 
neither approbation nor displeasure. It was 
not, in fact, to be expected that they would feel 
or evince any satisfaction at the loss of their 
master. He had been their champion, and, as 
they believedj their friend. The removal of 
Caesar brought no accession of power nor in- 



224 JULIUS CESAR. 

crease of liberty to them. It might have been 
a gain to ambitious senators, or powerful gen- 
erals, or high officers of SLtate, by removing a 
successful rival out of their way, but it seemed 
to promise little advantage to the community 
at large, other than the changing of one des- 
potism for another. Besides, a populace who 
know that they must be governed, prefer gen- 
erally, if they must submit to some control, to 
yield their submission to some one master 
spirit whom they can look up to as a great and 
acknowledged superior. They had rather have 
a Caesar than a Senate to command them. 

The higher authorities, however, were, as 
might have been expected, disposed to ac- 
quiesce in the removal of Caesar from his in- 
tended throne. The Senate met, and passed an 
act of indemnity, to shield the conspirators 
from all legal liability for the deed they had 
done. In order, however, to satisfy the people 
too, as far as possible, they decreed divine 
honors to Caesar, confirmed and ratified all that 
he had done while in the exercise of supreme 
power, and appointed a time for the funeral, 
ordering arrangements to be made for a very 
pompous celebration of it. 

A will was soon found, which Caesar, it 
seems, had made some time before. Calpur- 
nia's father proposed that this will should b© 
opened and read in public at Antony's house; 
and this was accordingly done. The provis- 



THE ASSASSINATION. 225 

ions of the will were, many of them, of such a 
character as renewed the feelings of interest 
and symi^athy which the people of Eome had 
begun to cherish for Caesar's memory. His 
vastestate was divided chiefly among the chil- 
dren of his sister, as he had no children of his 
own, while the very men who had been most 
prominent in his assassination were named as 
trustees and guardians of the property ; and 
one of them, Decimus Brutus, the one who had 
been so urgent to conduct him to the senate- 
house, was a second bier. He had some 
splendid gardens near the Tiber, which he be- 
queathed to the citizens of Rome, and a large 
amount of money also, to be divided among 
them, sufficient to give every man a consider- 
able sum. 

The time for the celebration of the funeral 
ceremonies was made known by proclamation, 
and, as the concourse of strangers and citizens 
of Eome was likely to be so great as to forbid 
the forming of all into one procession without 
consuming more than one day, the various 
classes of the communitj' were invited to come, 
each in their own way, to the Field of Mars, 
bringing with them such insignia, offerings, 
and oblations as they pleased. The Field of 
Mars was an immense parade ground, reserved 
for military reviews, spectacles, and shows. 
A funeral pile was erected here for the burning 
of the body. There was to be a fuBeral dis- 



226 JULIUS Ci4^:SAR. 

course prononnced, and Marc Antony had 
been designated to perform this duty. The 
body had been placed in a gilded bed, under a 
magnificent canopy in the form of a temple, 
before the rostra where the funeral discourse 
was to be pronounced. The bed was covered 
with scarlet and cloth of gold, and at the head 
of it was laid the robe in which Caesar had been 
slain. It was stained with blood, and pierced 
with the holes that the swords and daggers of 
the conspirators had made. 

Marc Antonj^, instead of pronouncing a 
formal panegyric upon his deceased friend, 
ordered a crier to read the decrees of the 
Senate, in which all honors, human and divine, 
had been ascribed to Caesar. He then added a 
few words of his own. The bed was then 
taken up, with the body upon it, and borne 
out into the Forum, preparatory to conveying 
it to the pile which had been prepared for it 
upon the Field of Mars. A question, how- 
ever, here arose among the multitude assembled 
in respect to the proper place for burning the 
body. The people seemed inclined to select 
the most honorable place which could be found 
within the limits of the city. Some proposed 
a beautiful temple on the Capitoline Hill. 
Others wished to take it to the senate-house, 
where he had been slain. The Senate, and 
those who were less inclined to pay extravagant 
honors to the departed hero, were in favor of 



THE ASSASSINATION. 227 

some more retired spot, under pretense that the 
buildings of the city would be endangered by 
the fire. This discussion was fast becoming a 
dispute, when it was suddenly ended by two 
men, with swords at their sides and lances in 
their hands, forcing their way through the 
crowd with lighted torches, and setting the 
bed and its canopy on fire where it lay. 

This settled the question, and the whole 
company were soon in the wildest excitement 
with the work of building up a funeral pile 
upon the spot. At first they brought fagots 
and threw upon the fire, then benches from the 
neighboring courts and porticoes, and then 
anything combustible which came to hand. 
The honor done to the memory of a deceased 
hero was, in some sense, in proportion to the 
greatness of his funeral pile, and all the popu- 
lace on this occasion began soon to seize every- 
thing they could find, appropriate andunappro- 
priate, provided that it would increase the 
flame. The soldiers threw on their lances and 
spears, the musicians their instruments, and 
others stripped off the cloths and trappings 
from the furniture of the procession, and 
heaped them upon the burning pile. 

So fierce and extensive was the fire, that it 
spread to some of the neighboring houses, and 
required great efforts to prevent a general con- 
flagration. The people, too, became greatly 
excited by the scene. They lighted torches by 



228 JULIUS C^SAR. 

the fire, and went to the houses of Brutus and 
Cassius, threatening vengeance upon them for 
the murder of Csesar. The authorities suc- 
ceeded, though with infinite difficulty, in protect- 
ing Brutus and Cassius from the violence of the 
mob, but they seized one unfortunate citizen 
of the name of Cinna, thinking it a certain 
Cinna who had been known as an enemy of 
Caesar. They cut off his head, notwithstand- 
ing his shrieks and cries, and carried it about 
the city on the tip of a pike, a dreadful sym- 
bol of their hostility to the enemies of Caesar. 
As frequently happens, however, in such deeds 
of sudden violence, these hasty and lawless 
avengers found afterward that they had made a 
mistake, and beheaded the wrong man. 

The Koman people erected a column to the 
memory of Caesar, on which they placed the 
inscription, "To the Father of his Country.'* 
They fixed the figure of a star upon the summit 
of it, and some time afterward, while the 
people were celebrating some games in honor 
of his memory, a great comet blazed for seven 
nights in the sky, which they recognized as 
the mighty hero's soul reposing in heaven. 



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